Amherst and the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation
Amherst College men's soccer head coach Justin Serpone introduced his team to Michael Lanosa in 2007 through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, an organization that pairs pediatric brain tumor patients with collegiate sports teams across the country. After attending practices, games and team dinners last year, Michael joined the Lord Jeffs again in 2008 and has become a true inspiration for the men's soccer program.
Michael was diagnosed on April 8, 2004 with an ATRT (Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor) when he was just four years old. Michael had brain surgery the day he was brought in to the emergency room. He had an external drain put in his head to stop the pressure of fluid, then had a port-a-cath put into his chest and then a shunt, which is an internal drain to replace the external one. He then had 12 intensive weeks of chemotherapy and a 10-hour brain surgery to remove the tumor. After 10 agonizing hours the tumor was taken out.
Michael then started six weeks of proton beam radiation and another six months of maintenance chemotherapy. He ended treatment on January 25, 2005. He started PT/OT and did this for two years. Michael grew 1 and ½ inches this past summer but due to treatment will have a bit of trouble growing.
Michael continues to love life and teach lessons, like how to be patient and to stop and take a deep breath when frustration gets us. He always has a great attitude and outlook on life and is full of joy. He loves to camp, be with his family and watch the New England Patriots with his dad. He loves to play with his dog, Luna, and hang out with his brothers and help his mom cook. He loves school and loves to learn. In spite of everything that has happened to Michael, he is a strong little person with a whole lot of love, joy, hope, and peace in his heart and in his being, and he is always ready to try something new.