By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/29/16
Win or lose in today’s NCAA Division III National Championship game at Lincoln Financial Field against Salisbury (1 p.m.), the Tufts men’s lacrosse team won the hearts of a 9-year-old boy from Arkansas who has been fighting blood cancer most of his life.
Fifty-one members of the Jumbos and their coaches arrived after Friday afternoon at Nick’s House in Holmes, Delaware County, and spent time meeting and hanging out with Jacob, who suffers from
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
The one Philly member of the Jumbos, St. Joseph’s Prep grad Jon Sax (also PG’d at Lawrenceville School and played for Duke’s L.C.), said the time spent with Jacob was special. Jacob, in Philly with his mother, was diagnosed in May of 2010, and has been re-diagnosed three times, had had two bone marrow transplants, and two stem cell transplants. He is being treated at CHOP with Chemo and T Cell and Stem cells.
“Here we are talking abut our scheme and what Salisbury is doing and what we need to do Sunday to win and we got to put that away for a second to come here and see what the real world is,” said Sax, a starter. “We see his struggles; this gives us a perspective on life.
“The bottom line is how lucky we are to do what we do and how easy it is.”
Sax said he had never been to Nick’s House before.
“I’ve known about HEADstrong since growing up, but this was my first time here and and it’s great to put a name to a face,” he said. “Young guys like Jacob are an inspiration to us.”
Sax was a member of last year’s Tufts team (20-2 this year) that won the national title over Lynchburg last year at Lincoln Financial Field. Coming back to Philly for the title game is a thrill.
“It’s awesome,” said Sax. “Salisbury is a great team. I don’t think it (winning) will take anything different than what we normally do. I believe in the 51 guys around me.”