Joins forces with Baptist Health’s Miami Cancer Institute Pediatric Cancer Unit and the SebastianStrong Foundation;
Team to train in ‘For Sebastian’ training tops ahead of Sunday home match
As part of Childhood Cancer Awareness, MLS WORKS – Major League Soccer’s social responsibility platform – will team up with league partner Continental Tire to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer. Now in its seventh year, the Kick Childhood Cancer campaign strives to strengthen research efforts to find cures for all types of childhood cancer and provide support to one of the most vulnerable populations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Inter Miami CF will honor Kick Childhood Cancer Awareness Month with special moments starting this week. In advance of Sunday’s match against Nashville SC, Inter Miami’s First Team will train in tops with the logo “For Sebastian” printed on them. These tops support Sebastian Ortiz, who lost his battle with Sarcoma in December 2016. After training, the tops will be signed by the players and sold online with all proceeds going to the IMCF Foundation and a donation from there to SebastianStrong.
In partnership with Baptist Health’s Miami Cancer Institute Pediatric Cancer Unit the Club will deliver co-branded MLS WORKS and Continental Tire Care Kits and tires to patients and families in need next week. The kits include games, activities, puzzles and more.
Inter Miami has also secured fan cutouts for matchday to highlight kids and families undergoing treatment for cancer at Baptist as well as medical workers helping to save lives including doctors, nurses and social workers. The cutouts will be placed in the stands at a future match at Inter Miami CF Stadium this month.
“This is our first season participating in this league-wide initiative and we are honored to help make a difference in the lives of childhood cancer patients, their families and the medical professionals helping save lives in our community,” said Chris Allan, Inter Miami CF’s VP of Community Engagement. “What we value the most is being able to have measurable impact by raising awareness and funds for childhood cancer research for the Children’s Oncology Group through MLS WORKS.”
How fans can join the efforts
Fans are encouraged to support the campaign by submitting “Messages of Hope” to help inspire and motivate local pediatric cancer patients as they continue their journey in the fight against cancer. Fans may submit their message on social media channels using the hashtag #KickChildhoodCancer. For every post that uses the hashtag, Continental Tire will donate $25 in celebration of the League’s milestone 25th season to fund pediatric cancer research (up to $50,000) during the month of September.
Fan generated ‘Messages of Hope’ will also be used to produce club customized blankets to provide comfort to patients during treatments and/or hospital stays and club customized scarves (often used to convey a message or show support within the soccer community). Both items will be distributed to pediatric cancer patients during the holidays.
A holiday auction will provide an additional fundraising opportunity later in the season. Auction items will consist of game-used, autographed jerseys and soccer balls from September 2020 matches and other items donated by Continental Tire.
Support for the Children’s Oncology Group
The Children’s Oncology Group is the world’s largest organization devoted exclusively to childhood and adolescent cancer research, uniting more than 10,000 experts in childhood cancer at more than 200 leading children’s hospitals around the world. Funds raised from the Kick Childhood Cancer campaign have enabled Children’s Oncology Group to strengthen research efforts across the entire spectrum of pediatric cancers, including Project: EveryChild – a unique project aiming to capture the biology and outcome data of every child diagnosed with cancer. The cost of a single enrollment into a clinical trial such as Project: EveryChild can approach $10,000 per patient. MLS has helped to offset the costs of more than 25,000 enrollments to-date, with an expected 30,000 to be enrolled by the end of 2020.
The month-long campaign will feature a commemorative gold ribbon on the adidas 2020 MLS Nativo XXV Official Match Ball to be used during all matches, as well as gold corner flags and goal nets. Kick Childhood Cancer gold captain’s armbands and gold ribbon jersey patches will be worn by the players. Technical staff will dawn Kick Childhood Cancer pins and PRO referees will sport gold wristbands.
Campaign elements will be promoted in-stadium, on league social and digital channels, and national and regional broadcasts. For more information on Kick Childhood Cancer, Children’s Oncology Group or other MLS WORKS initiatives, visit MLSsoccer.com/mlsworks.