"Being a member of the X-Men Football Team is not just about the game of football; it is about a sense of community." Second year X-Men receiver Sam Taylor is hoping to share that message as the team raises awareness about the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC).
This season, X-Men Football is proud to support Sam and LLSC by raising money & awareness about blood cancer and hosting a Light the Night event at StFX Stadium on October 21, 2023.
Leukemia Lymphoma Society of Canada is currently the largest registered charitable health agency dedicated to supporting the Canadian blood cancer community, and aims to improve the quality of life of people affected by blood cancers and their families by funding life-enhancing research and providing educational resources, services and support.
- Every 24 minutes someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer
- 40 percent of childhood cancers are blood cancers
- Over 155,000 Canadians are affected a blood cancer
Every year, LLSC hosts Light the Night, a team-based fundraising initiative that leads up to a walkathon event, dedicated to bringing together the community in support of those affected by blood cancer. X-Men Football will be raising money throughout the season and host the first ever Light the Night event at StFX on October 21, 2023.
Saturday, October 21st at STFX Stadium from 6:30-7:30pm
Host Sam Taylor will share some words about his journey with Hodgkin Lymphoma and how the X-Men Football Tackles Cancer initiative has had a positive impact on the fundraising & awareness efforts of LLSC. Attendees will be able to show support for those who have been impacted by blood cancers through small conversations before the whole group lights lanterns in support of Light the Night.
To learn more about Light the Night, click here.
To donate to the X-Men Football fundraising team, click here.
A Message From Sam Taylor
"My name is Sam Taylor, I am a Hodgkin Lymphoma Survivor. In January 2022 at the age of 18 I had just accepted my admissions offer and my offer to play football at St. Francis Xavier University. Things were falling into place, and I was excited to start my new journey at StFX. However, the path to X was not going to be that easy...the universe had different plans for me. On January 10, 2022, my world stopped when I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin Lymphoma!
A quick series of scans, appointments and a picc line set me up for what my reality would be for the next 6 months of 2 cycles ABVD chemotherapy and 14 radiation treatments. But I had so many emotions and questions about what was to come; would I get to StFX? Would I be able to play football again? Would I survive this cancer? One of the toughest moments for me came when I had to call my Coaches, Coach Vandenheuvel and Coach Waterman, to tell them I had cancer. There were so many emotions during this call because I felt like I was letting them down. Their response was exactly what I needed to hear; concerned first about me and my health, telling me that my focus needed to be on fighting cancer and that they were there to support me in any way I needed. This just confirmed everything I already knew; X was where I needed to be!
I finished my treatment on June 14th, 2022 and can’t say enough about the great care I received from my Healthcare Teams at Joseph Brant Hospital and Juravinski Cancer Centre. I had minimal side effects during my treatments but was so happy to have them behind me.
I arrived at StFX in August of 2022 to start football training camp and within a week it felt like I had 95 new friends. The environment and culture was so positive, so welcoming and from the moment I arrived I fit in. The coaches were so accommodating with my limitations and understanding that for me getting back to my pre-cancer self would be a marathon not a sprint. The team staff were unbelievable and helped me acclimatize to the intensity that University football brings, something that I think any first-year football player experiences, let alone someone recovering from cancer. Furthermore, the decision was made for me to go to the Cape Breton Cancer Centre for my 3-month follow-up appointments while at school. Without a car or family here, this left some uncertainty around my travel...but in true X fashion I should have known how it would play out. When I asked Coach Waterman about travel options there was no discussion and no hesitation, he drove me and what an opportunity to have an afternoon of one-on-one time with my head coach!
I now have my first year complete and getting ready to start year 2 of school and football. My goal is to become a teacher and provide mentoring to students like the amazing mentoring I have received from Teachers and Coaches. My love of football has only grown being part of the amazing X-Men community and I look forward to a new season this year!
My purpose for getting involved and supporting LLSC is so that patients can continue to get the information and education needed to help them in their cancer journey. I also want to support the research that goes into understanding blood cancers in the hopes that we can continue to reduce the number of Canadians diagnosed each year."