In the last weeks of my visit in England I got to play at the Blues Fest Lacrosse tournament down South for a team called Mermen All-stars. First contact with the team on Friday night showed that it’s going to be a fun weekend on and off the field. Games started Saturday morning but before the faceoff the selected captain of the game had to follow precise procedure to motivate and prepare the team. Whilst everyone was kneeling down the captain read out of the book of Chuck, a small crumpled booklet with all-time phrases about Chuck Norris. Brilliant. With a: “Chuck Norris has already been to Mars. That’s why there are no signs of life there! “ We started the first game taking home a 6-3 win.
Before the tournament continued the captain Joe gathered the team to hand everyone a small sticker we were to put on our helmets. I expected something Chuck related but I was wrong.
The stickers we put on our helmets represent a charity to support a fellow teammate of the Maidstone Lacrosse Club. Of course I wanted to support this cause but I also wanted to find out more about the charity and Joes mate and he was more than willing to tell me the story about Ed.
Ed (Edward Solly) is a midfielder of Maidstone Lacrosse Club, a complete character in the club, he’s quirky, funny and a great laugh to be around, if there’s an inappropriate comment to make he’s already made it.
One day Ed took a shot to the nuts in practice, taking one for the team he probably felt like most goalies out there. As the pain did not disappear for three days Ed went to the doctor on 28th of May who sadly diagnosed the 25 year old with testicular cancer. Treatment of the cancer followed the shocking diagnose during which Ed’s testical had to be removed. Following checkup showed that the cancer has possibly spread and he needs to start a course of chemotherapy as soon as possible.
Maidstone lacrosse club is trying to support Ed every step of his hard way. With very little time to organise they decided to do a sponsored head shave with Ed when the hospital advised him he should shave his hair before the chemo started to take effect. In addition they decided to sell helmet stickers to raise awareness and funds for Ed’s cause.
After hearing this touching story I would have loved to wrap my helmet with these stickers but than none would have been left for the other 500 Lacrosse players at Blues Fest. Sitting together after Saturday’s games someone brought up Lacrosse as the healing game as described by the Native Americans. Hearing Ed’s story before someone of the round came up with the phrase “diagnosing game” as Ed’s disease would have probably been undiscovered if not being hit by a lacrosse ball. I guess both phrases fit the situation quite well.
Following the ceremony of the Blues Fest where my team Mermen (with a majority of Maidstone player) won the final of the minor cup, the teammates of Ed met over at his place to shave their heads together with Ed and start the hard trip through chemo together as a team.
We miss him on the field just as much as I know he misses being there.
So far the players and Ed’s mates from Maidstone Lacrosse Club have managed to raise £1265 for the worthwhile charity but they are hoping to raise in excess of £3000. Any donations you can offer they would be really grateful as would Ed.
Besides Blues Fest they also have a second event coming up on July 13th at Fremlin walk in Maidstone town centre. The entire club will be there shaking buckets and again getting their heads shaved to raise awareness but also some cash for Ed’s chosen charity ‘checkem lads’ which is a charity started to increase awareness of testicular cancer and to educate men on the signs and also support them.
At this point Ed’s friends and LimeGreen Lacrosse would like to address all male mates out there. Testicular cancer is a serious disease that can be cured when identified and diagnosed at an early stage. Invest a second once in a while to check your two friends for lumps, texture or size change and go to a doctor to get a closer look if anything feels out of place. It may save your live and surly hurts less than getting hit by a ball.
If you want to support Ed and his teammates fighting testicular cancer you can donate HERE.
You can find more information about the charity they support HERE.
We wish Ed all the best and strength to fight through this hard time. I am looking forward seeing you at Blues Fest 2014.