When cancer strikes, life can turn into a seemingly endless cycle of hospitalizations, surgery, drugs and radiation. Especially for children, it is easy to lose sight of living in the midst of surviving. Jaclyn Murphy, a pediatric brain cancer survivor, knows this better than anyone.
At the age of nine, Jaclyn was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a malignant brain cancer. Jaclyn had always loved sports, and lacrosse was her game at the time of her diagnosis in 2004. A hospital photo of a college-level lacrosse player became Jaclyn's motivation to keep going. Every time she passed it in the hospital hallway, her father would point to the photograph and tell Jaclyn that someday she would be the woman in the picture.
As it turned out, the college lacrosse connection happened far sooner than even her father could have hoped for. The coach of the Northwestern University women's lacrosse team learned about the little girl who loved the game but was sidelined with brain cancer. The team's arms opened as the coach invited Jaclyn in, welcoming her at practices and games.