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Yorktown Unites For Friends Of Jaclyn, Kids Battling Brain Tumors

The Murphy family
The Murphy family Photo Credit: Contributed

YORKTOWN, N.Y -- Denis Murphy and Lisa Sedlor have learned about what happens when the Yorktown community comes together.

Sedlor is hosting the second annual "Yorktown Unites For A Cause," on Sat, Sept. 23 at FDR State Park,  to benefit Friends of Jaclyn a charity started by Murphy, a Yorktown native. Friends of Jaclyn connects kids battling brain tumors with college and high school teams.

The charity began when Jaclyn was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was nine. An avid lacrosse player, she was connected to the Northwestern Women's Lacrosse Team and and was considered part of the team. She traveled to Maryland and watched them defeat John Hopkins on their way to winning seven titles.

Jaclyn was talking to another girl who was envious of her new teammates and a lightbulb went off in her head.

"She said, 'Dad, we've got to get her a team,'" Murphy said.

Murphy soon went to work and Friends of Jaclyn has now put 750 children with college and high school teams, with 1200 schools on the waiting list. The charity has been featured on "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel."

"These kids aren't a mascot, they're not a good luck charm," Murphy said. "They become part of the team. Most of these kids are at a competitive disadvantage. Chances are they won't make it to college."

He said the kids and the players both get something special out of the connection.

"The players get that perspective," Murphy said. "The kids get teammates who treat them like normal. Research is important, but there's nothing more powerful than love, support, and friendship."

Murphy said he feels like the luckiest man in the world after seeing Jaclyn graduate from Marist and become the junior varsity lacrosse coach at Arlington High School.

The event will feature a daylong concert with multiple local bands, and Sedlor is hoping to raise $10,000. Last year, Sedlor organized the event by reaching out to her old high school classmates.

"It was unbelievable the way we were able to pull this off," Sedlor said. "There's nothing better than giving back to the community."

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