October 22, 2013
The University of Michigan men’s lacrosse team officially added another member to the 2014 squad on Friday (Oct. 18), in that of Miles Root, a member of the Friends of Jaclyn Program.
The Wolverines adopted nine-year-old Miles Root of Tecumseh, Mich., through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation (FOJ), a charitable, non-profit organization that strives to enhance and strengthen the support system built around children with pediatric brain tumors. Through the program, adopted children become part of the team and build unique friendships. Children also gain an incredible group of caring role models to look up to when they need the extra support.
FOJ places children with teams according to geographical proximity, as his primary healthcare facility is the University of Michigan Hospital.
At the adoption ceremony, Miles’ mother Nicole spoke about their family finding FOJ and her son’s journey. Following the story, Miles was presented with a No. 1 practice pinnie on Friday and with his very own locker and name plate for the U-M intrasquad game on Sunday (Oct. 20). Miles’ father, Jim, as well as his three brothers, Seth, Ian and Skyler, were on hand for the ceremony.
Miles was diagnosed with a brain tumor on April 26, 2010, at the age of five. The tumor was fully resected on April 28, but he suffered from posterior fossa syndrome with cerebellar mutism a few hours after his tumor removal, resulting in him being unable to move the right side of his body and leaving him unable to speak.
Miles finally went home on June 19, 2010, unable to move or control any part of his body. In total, he has endured 30 rounds of radiation, nine rounds of intense chemotherapy, a shunt placement and two hospitalizations due to infections and therapies. He was officially cancer free in August 2011. However, Miles relapsed in January of 2013, and underwent a craniotomy to remove a new tumor on Feb. 15; he will begin chemotherapy once again on March 18.
FOJ’s programs are based on love, support and friendship between the child, the child’s family and his or her “adopted” team. FOJ has completed more than 230 adoptions in more than 20 different sports. They currently have more than 1,000 schools on a waiting list, as FOJ grows from a small organization into a larger one. For more information, please visithttp://friendsofjaclyn.org/.