STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WTAJ) – Sometimes all you need to brighten your day, is a smile.
“If you’ve ever met him, he as the most contagious laugh ever,” Senior Defender Alison Houtz said.
“His laugh just melts this team’s heart,” Senior Defender Savannah Schoonmaker said.
Jack Sylves is just four years old.
“He is so strong like no matter what he is going through, you can’t tell,” Schoonmaker said.
However, on July 18th, 2018, everything changed for Jack.
“There was so much leading up to that and not knowing what was going on and he had all sorts of symptoms and issues that we were trying to get to the bottom of and he was in pain,” Scott Sylves, Jack’s dad, said.
Doctors diagnosed Jack with leukemia, immediately putting him into a fight for his life. He went to chemotherapy every week, the smile and laugh fading briefly.
“It’s frustrating because all you want to do is make your child healthy and happy and feel good and from the time that we couldn’t, it was awful,” Sylves said.
Meanwhile, over at State College High School, word traveled of Jack’s story to the girls soccer team.
“Once we saw him and heard his story, everybody wanted to help,” Schoonmaker said.
Through the #JackStrong and Goals for Good, pledges the girls took for every goal scored this season. With each goal, the girls began to help, but nothing could beat the smile they put back on Jack’s face.
“The experience of being a part of this team this year is the priceless thing that makes him smile, that’s the thing that makes him happy,” Sylves said.
A team, a boy, and a bond linkin them forever.
“We just want to make this a place where he can come out and have fun and forget about everything he’s going through,” Schoonmaker said.