CARLSBAD, Calif., July 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- At the age of just 9-years-old, Daniel Alexander was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, but this courageous youngster fought hard enduring multiple surgeries and chemotherapy. To help provide Daniel with some inspiration during his battle, his mother Karen reached out to the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation (FoJ), an organization that partners children with brain tumors with athletic teams. When Daniel was partnered up with the Notre Dame baseball team in 2013, his mother saw it had an immediate impact on him.
"Daniel's disposition changed immediately after being involved with the Notre Dame baseball team through Friends of Jaclyn," said Karen Alexander, Daniel's mother. "Daniel immediately clicked with these young men. He knew these athletes were going to give him the support he would need, but most importantly he was making friendships that would last a lifetime. FoJ was able to pair Daniel up with his love of baseball and his new love of Notre Dame Baseball. Being on this journey makes it so much more bearable when you know Daniel has 38 big brothers cheering for him!"
The players and coaches on the Notre Dame team would say that Daniel had a profound effect on them as well. The athletes have gained a different perspective on life, motivation and the gift of caring for others. And Upper Deck believes strongly Daniel's tremendous courage he has shown in battling this insidious disease is deserving of a special honor.
Last night, Upper Deck welcomed Daniel Alexander and his family to the Upper Deck booth at the National Sports Collectors Convention where he was honored with his very own Upper Deck baseball card. Upper Deck will be producing several hundred of these cards for Daniel's family which may be donated for charitable purposes. This marks the third trading card Upper Deck has created for brave young athletes involved in the FoJ program.
"Daniel is an incredibly courageous young man and well deserving of the honor of having an Upper Deck Heroic Inspirations card," said Denis Murphy, president of the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation. "These are not just trading cards. They are tools to change lives for the better and improve the quality of life for those who suffer from this disease."
"We believe that Daniel's Upper Deck baseball card will create hope for other kids and families struggling with brain cancer," said Chris Carlin, senior marketing manager for Upper Deck. "He is an inspiration to others and we applaud his courage. He is certainly worthy of the honor of appearing on a baseball card and both Notre Dame and Friends of Jaclyn have been wonderful to work with throughout the process of bringing the card to life."
As the exclusive licensor of Notre Dame collegiate licensed trading cards, this is an awesome way to show the power of college sports and the untold inspirations behind many of college's best teams. Upper Deck plans to leverage the power of the Upper Deck brand to tell more great stories with Friends of Jaclyn in the future to create awareness and funds for those battling this disease.
About Upper Deck
Upper Deck, headquartered in Carlsbad, Calif., is a worldwide sports and entertainment company built on the pillars of quality craftsmanship, authenticity and innovation with a dedication to creating products that turn memorable moments into collectibles. Upper Deck revolutionized the sports trading card experience with anti-counterfeit holograms, high quality card stock and stunning photography in its inaugural 1989 baseball set, and since then its mission has been to capture the excitement of the game and deliver it to fans of all ages. The cornerstone of Upper Deck's business, which opened in 1989, is based on sports trading cards. As its brand has evolved to include other products over the years, the company now creates exclusive memorabilia, gaming products, collectible cards and a wide array of sports trading cards.
About Friends of Jaclyn
The Friends of Jaclyn program pairs children suffering with brain tumors and cancer with sports programs, primarily at the collegiate level. The interaction between student athletes and the Friends of Jaclyn kids is often their first glimpse into a world that reminds student athletes how fragile life can be and how strong one can be in the face of adversity. The strength, courage and resilience the child demonstrates often motivates and inspires athletes and teams to levels they had not known, often exposing them to 'giving back' for the first time in their young adult life. This ripple effect reaches far and wide as it spreads awareness about pediatric brain tumors and associates Friends of Jaclyn with the larger pediatric cancer world. There is no chemotherapy, radiation treatment or clinical trial drug more powerful than the love, support and friendship Friends of Jaclyn programs provide.
For more information about Friends of Jaclyn, please visit www.friendsofjaclyn.org.
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SOURCE Upper Deck