After being adopted by the Tiger football team, Tyler Bloom takes part in the coin toss.
Courtesy: Brendan Cavanaugh
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After being adopted by the Tiger football team, Tyler Bloom takes part in the coin toss.
| @Towson_FB Adopts Tyler Bloom
Courtesy: Athletics Media Relations  
Release: 04/21/2012
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TOWSON, Md. –  Tyler Bloom,  a five-year old and a member of the “Friends of Jaclyn,” has signed a Letter of Attendance and has been adopted as a honorary member of the Towson University football team. He “officially” signed with the Tigers in pre-game ceremonies prior to Tiger Bowl II on Saturday, April 21.

The “Friends of Jaclyn” was founded in 2005 with the mission of improving the quality of life for children with pediatric brain tumors. The program is based on love, support and friendship between the child, the team and the child’s family. “FOJ” connects a child with a college or high school athletics team based on geographic proximity so the child can be involved with the team as much as possible. The child is “adopted” by the team and becomes a honorary team member. The gift is in the relationship. The child gains a new support network of loving friends and the team learns to see the world with new eyes.

The son of Chanda and Jason Bloom, Tyler is an avid football fan whose father played football at the University of New Mexico. Tyler’s battle against cancer started in October, 2010. He was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital after it was noted that he was becoming clumsy and walking strangely.  A CAT scan revealed a parent’s worst nightmare. There was a tumor taking over the right side of his brain.

Two days later, he had emergency surgery and the surgeon was able to remove the entire tumor. Unfortunately, Tyler suffered a massive stroke during the surgery, leaving him paralyzed on the right side of his body.

After three months at Kennedy Krieger, Tyler was able to regain much of his large motor function, including the ability to walk again with an orthotic boot. Although the tumor had been removed, the pathology revealed that Tyler had a very aggressive form of brain cancer called Ependymoma. Because of that, he was forced to undergo months of intensive cancer treatments. During that time, he received six rounds of high-dose chemotherapy. Every round resulted in complications and infections. Over a six-week period, he had 33 rounds of radiation and he received anesthesia every day during treatments.

Tyler completed treatments on August 19, 2011 and all of his scans have come back clear since then.

Tyler Bloom plans to become a regular at all Tiger football home games and other special events.

The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation (FOJ) started as the dream of a nine-year old girl named Jaclyn Murphy, who was diagnosed with medullo-blastoma, a malignant brain tumor. While undergoing treatment, she was inspired by a large framed photo on the hospital wall of a joyful, young woman lacrosse player celebrating her team’s NCAA championship. She would say, “I am going to play lacrosse again when I get well.”

When the Northwestern University lacrosse team heard about her story, the Wildcats adopted Jaclyn as a honorary member. Her strength, courage, relentless spirit and joy for life inspired everyone and Northwestern won the national championship.

When Jaclyn was in the middle of the team’s celebration, her parents realized that Jaclyn's relationship with the players - her adopted sisters - had a positive effect on her happiness and health. The Northwestern players knew that their relationship with Jaclyn had opened their eyes and hearts to a deeper appreciation for life. When Northwestern won its fourth and fifth straight national championships at Johnny Unitas® Stadium, Jaclyn was in Towson, cheering on her team.

Soon afterward, Jaclyn shared a dream with her father. She wanted other children with pediatric brain tumors to have similar experiences of being honorary team members. The Murphys understood that it is ultimately the love and support of others that gives people the inspiration and courage to get through this challenging journey.

The Tiger football team is one more than 100 teams nationally to adopt a honorary team member.

 


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