Who’s got school spirit?

Posted by Kristen Suraci on

Hello again to my blog friends! This month is super exciting for Twill as we’ve been putting the final touches on a very special project!

To our purple family reading, this is extra special for you! We have teamed up with the University at Albany to design a fully licensed, official UAlbany + Twill beanie. For every beanie purchased, a portion of the proceeds will go directly to local organizations, Jammin for JP and Friends of Jaclyn.

Jammin for JP and Friends of Jaclyn were both started because of two amazing young people worth learning a little more about.

At the age of three, JP’s parents noticed although he loved sports, he was very clumsy and was struggling in school.  Despite battling continuous roadblocks it is clear to see that JP's parents are true rockstars. They sent him to a vision therapist weekly after noticing his eyes didn’t move up and down and spent hours researching his symptoms all while trying to change his diet and get him started on different vitamins and foods. In 2013, they met with his neurologist and from there the family was sent to Boston Children’s Hospital. Ultimately it was Mollie, JP's sister, who chimed in to save the day. She told the doctor at the hospital that when JP laughed he tended to lose control of his head and shoulders. JP went through more testing and he continued experiencing similar symptoms and eventually was put on seizure medication. Ultimately his family was sent back to Boston where JP was finally diagnosed with the very rare Niemann Pick Type C disease. Jammin for JP helps raise awareness, support others that are fighting similar battles as JP and helps ensure he can live life to the fullest extent despite the obstacles and difficulties he faces each day. To read all the details of this disease, you can go directly to JP’s website by clicking here.

In 2004, nine year old Jaclyn Murphy was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Though she was young, she stayed fierce and brave. Through chance events, Jaclyn became connected to a collegiate lacrosse team and was soon after adopted as an honorary team member. Her joy for life inspired the players she grew close to with the team going on to a perfect season, winning their first NCAA national championship in 64 years! Talk about a miracle! Jaclyn’s work wasn’t done there! She later shared her dream of helping all of the sick children in the hospital. In 2005, Jaclyn and her family created the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation to improve the quality of life for children battling pediatric brain tumors, allowing them to live in the moment.

We are unbelievably inspired by each of these organizations, JP and Jaclyn and the countless lives they've touched. Through all his struggles, JP still gets up and goes to school and is willing to try his best. His family hopes to continue helping other families trying to battle the disease by hosting events and raising money.

Today, Friends of Jaclyn has helped nearly 700 families with brain tumors and other childhood cancers. The foundations mission is to improve the quality of life for children battling pediatric brain tumors. Through their three programs, Adopt-A-Child, Safe on the Sidelines and Guardian Angel Programs, they pair an afflicted child and their siblings with local sports teams, campus clubs, and arts programs in their community. To learn more about how you can be a part of this foundation, click here.

I don’t know about all of you reading this, but just hearing their story has inspired me to get out and help the community any way I can. What’s even cooler about all this is the fact that you can help these foundations AND get a gift in return by purchasing one of our beanies. If that’s not a win-win situation, I’m not sure what is! For those of you reading this that aren’t UAlbany fans (I’m a Siena Saint myself)...swallow your pride and do the right thing!

Pre-sale has officially started, so head on over to www.mytwill.com to grab your limited-edition beanie before they sell out!

Till next time, thanks for reading!

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  • Hi Guys – Just ordered 3 of the UAlbany Beanies – can’t wait to get them. My husband, son and I are all UAlbany Alums. My son played on the lacrosse team for 4 years and thus made a close connection with JP and his family. We are thrilled to support Jammin’ for JP in any way we can, and these beanies look like a great way to do it. We will wear them proudly as we continue to attend UAlbany events. My daughter just applied to UA, so I may need to order another beanie in the near future!!! Keep up the great work and all the best.

    Alicia Cassio on

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