KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
September 9, 2019
By Jennifer Miko
Katy high school football fans and supporters have repeatedly shown their loyalty, spirit and heart. On two separate playing fields, our hometown teams acknowledged National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. They stood united against this disease and showed compassion for others.
On Friday night, Tompkins High School hosted the Klein Cain Hurricanes for a week-two varsity football matchup, and the Falcons cheerleaders met with a special player from the opposing team.
A Young Man's Fight
In 2017, Jacob Munoz was diagnosed with Pre-B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, a very rare and aggressive form of cancer. For the past two years, the young man has undergone chemo treatments, a bone marrow transplant from his brother and rehabilitation. At last week's opening game against Cypress Park, Jacob was able to suit up and run through the tunnel with his teammates carrying the Texas flag.
On Friday, the Tompkins cheer squad honored Jacob by painting his uniform number, 33, in a purple heart on their run-through banner. They also presented Jacob with a card signed by them and the football team.
Tompkins was selected as the Texans Friday Night Game of the Week and some Texans cheerleaders attended the game. They wanted to meet Jacob too.
"I didn’t know that the cheerleaders were planning to meet me," says Jacob. "When they came over I was so shocked. I was not expecting it at all. Meeting them was an honor. It really made me happy that they did something so special for someone that they did not even know. Their kindness touched my heart."
“It is really important to (Tompkins) Coach McVey to get the athletes out in the community serving,” says Kim Chapman, Community Outreach, Tompkins Athletic Booster Club. “The varsity football players and cheerleaders were very touched by Jacob’s story and just wanted to show Jacob some love. All of this was a team effort and this is why our motto is #Allin.”
Keeping the Faith
Jacob, a senior and linebacker/strong safety, hasn't played in a game yet this season.
"His doctors, coaches, and I decided that he will be the one who tells us when he is 100% ready," says his mother Yvette Munoz, pictured here, with Jacob. "He will finally take the field at the next game."
"To other children fighting illnesses, please stay strong," says Jacob. "Have faith. Have hope. You will have moments when you feel like giving up and it is those moments that you must dig deep for strength. Remember that God performs miracles."
Follow Jacob's story on Facebook at Jacob's Fight.
On Thursday, September 5, the Taylor High School Mustangs played the Cypress Springs Cougars. The cheer squad honored their classmate Lilli Curry who lost her battle with Ewing’s sarcoma.
Showing Awareness with the Gold Ribbon
The gold ribbon has been selected to represent Children's Cancer Awareness. The American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO), founded in 1970, is the oldest and largest grassroots childhood cancer organization in the country
ACCO's mission statement says, "We are dedicated to making childhood cancer a national health priority through shaping policy, supporting research, raising awareness, and providing educational resources and innovative programs to children with cancer, survivors, and their families."
The ACCO posted the following statistics:
Cancer is the #1 cause of death by disease for children in America.
1 in 285 children in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 20.
Every three minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer.
To learn more about the ACCO, visit their website.
Announcing National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
More than 15,000 children and adolescents under the age of 19 are diagnosed with cancer each year. In an effort to recognize these brave young people, the government has declared September National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
In Proclamation 9918 of August 20, 2019, President Donald Trump wrote:
“My Administration is committed to supporting our Nation's dedicated medical professionals, researchers, and innovators as they work to win the fight against childhood cancer. Last year, I signed into law the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research (STAR) Act. This legislation will support research for childhood cancers, explore effective treatments, and help enhance the quality of long-term care for the tenacious young people who have finished treatment and entered into remission. I am also working with the Congress to invest $500 million over the next decade in cancer-related research. This funding will enable our Nation's best scientists and doctors to learn from every child with cancer, creating new opportunities to understand the unique causes of and best cures for childhood cancer.”
Read the President’s full proclamation here.