April 23, 2010
RICHMOND, Va. - Members of the Richmond men's basketball team visited Brookland Middle School Friday to eat lunch with Nathan Mwenda, the 14-year-old brain tumor survivor who the team adopted through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation.
Kevin Anderson, Jonathan Benjamin, Darrius Garrett, Justin Harper, Francis-Cedric Martel and Conor Smith made the trip to Brookland Middle School to spend time with Nathan, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor four years ago.
Nathan had visited with the Spiders at the University of Richmond throughout the season, but the players thought it would be a treat to eat lunch with Nathan at his school. Richmond's players were a big hit as surprise lunchtime guests in the cafeteria at Brookland Middle School.
Before the final home game of the season against Dayton, Nathan was on the court, standing with the Spiders during the national anthem, in the introduction line and in the huddle before tip-off.
The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation is a non-profit, charitable organization that improves the quality of life for children with pediatric brain tumors and their families. FOJ is all about love, support, and friendship. FOJ matches a child with a college or high school sports team based on geographic location.
According to the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation website, "a deep bond is formed between the child, the child's family and the sports team. The relationship is a priceless gift. The gift is in the relationship; a child is gaining a loving support network and the team is gaining an insight into the value of life and the power of love. The result of this connection is mutual respect, support, friendship and love."
Be sure to watch WRIC Channel 8 tonight for a segment on the Spiders' visit with Nathan during the sports portion of the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts.