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Play in odd socks on June 25 to 27 and Sock it to Sarcoma!

Monday, June 21, 2021 - 6:40 PM

WEST AUSTRALIAN SARCOMA AWARENESS WEEK 2021

The annual West Australian Sarcoma Awareness Week is fast approaching, being held this year from June 28th until Sunday July 4th.

All Football Club players, volunteers, Auskickers, Coaches, Officals and Umpires are asked to join together again to support the Sock it to Sarcoma! Round by wearing odd socks on Friday 25th, Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th June.

Support the cause by simply wearing your odd socks and donating a gold coin to your Team Manager or Club Representative. 

WA Football’s involvement in WA Sarcoma Awareness Week aims to raise awareness of Sarcomas and raise funds for Sarcoma research in Western Australia. WA Football has a reason close to home to be involved...

 

Kalin Foley was in year seven in 2012 when he was diagnosed with a rare soft tissue paediatric sarcoma called Rhabdomyosarcoma after a suspected injury in a game of football. Kalin had played for Wanneroo Junior Football Club for many years & attended Prendiville Catholic College with many Ocean Ridge Junior Football Club players.

Kalin lost his battle at 15 years of age in September 2014 after an extensive treatment regime and one hell of a fight.

Sarcoma is a group of rare primary bone and soft tissue tumours, given a number of different names depending on the type of tissue from which they arise. The causes of sarcoma, including whether there are any underlying genetic links, are not yet established. This is the reason why more research into the molecular biology and etiology is so crucial.

The West Perth District, Claremont District and Subiaco District clubs helped raise over $16,000 in 2020 by encouraging local football teams to wear odd socks to raise funds and awareness of
Sarcoma throughout the local football community. More than $70,000 has been raised over the last six years.

WA Football’s involvement with Sock it to Sarcoma! aims to raise awareness of Sarcoma, a rare cancer and raise funds for Sarcoma research in Western Australia. WA Football has a reason close to home to be involved, with Kalin’s diagnosis arising following injury in a local football game. 

Football players are encouraged to join and support the event by wearing odd socks on Friday 25th, Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th June with players asked to donate a gold coin donation to be collected by your Team Manager or Club Officials. Players are encouraged to wear one of their club/team socks accompanied by an odd sock on the other foot – joining the Sock it to Sarcoma! theme.

As part of WA Sarcoma Awareness Week and with the blessing of Kalin’s parents Paul and Brigitte the West Perth Football District, Wanneroo Junior Football Club and Ocean Ridge Junior Football Club will again run the annual Kalin Foley Cup, a match honoring Kalin Foley; this year at Wanneroo Showgrounds on June 27th.


On Friday 25th, Saturday 26h and Sunday 27th June - have some fun, pull on a pair of odd socks for your footy match and donate to a great cause, helping us Sock it to Sarcoma!


Kalin Foley

Kalin was 12 and in his first year of high school at Prendiville Catholic College and at the start of his fifth season for the WJFC in 2012. During training early in the season he fell heavily onto his lower back. Over the weeks that followed the injury was causing him more and more pain to the point he could no longer sit down. Numerous trips to health professionals including GP's, paediatricians, physiotherapists and chiropractors confirmed nothing more than bruising to his tail bone. Meanwhile Kalin's health worsened, as did the pain. Little did we know then, but on Mother's Day 2012, he played his last game of footy ever against a team full of his new high school friends who played for ORJFC.

Three weeks later he was admitted to the oncology unit at PMH where we were delivered the worst news a parent could possible hear. Kalin was diagnosed with a rare soft tissue paediatric sarcoma called Rhabdomyosarcoma. The pain Kalin was experiencing was not a result of his fall at football at all, but a rockmelon sized tumour that was pressing against his nerves and invading his pelvis and abdomen. The delay in diagnosing his disease, which is typical in Sarcomas, meant the disease had had time to spread, taking over his bone marrow and lymph nodes.

Kalin’s treatment started the same day of his diagnosis and involved 20 cycles of intensive high strength chemo over 54 weeks, 29 rounds of radiation, multiple bone marrow aspirations, PET, MRI and CT scans and many other procedures too numerous to count. He handled his treatment with strength, determination and grace far beyond his years and by July 2013 he was declared to be in remission.

Unfortunately, as in Kalin’s case, sarcomas have a high relapse rate and his remission was short lived, by late October 2013 Kalin became unwell again and at the beginning of November 2013, we were told that Kalin’s disease had returned.  He was placed on a further 6 months of weekly chemotherapy but tragically this was effective for only 5 months before new tumours grew. In July 2014 no further, curative treatment was available to him and he was placed into palliative care. He passed away on September 22nd, 2014, 5 days after his 15th birthday.

At the beginning of Kalin's tragic journey his footy club WJFC and his new school mates at ORJFC staged the first Kalin Foley Cup in the middle of the 2012 season. This was the first time the two teams had meet after his diagnosis and the day was planned to support us as a family. It was a great community event and provided us with the strength and positivity to get us through those first initial months.  An annual event was proposed the following year in 2013 with a specific request by Kalin to support research into sarcoma and provide awareness for such diseases.

We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from these events and would love to see it continue and grow as an ongoing tribute to Kalin’s life, while adding much needed exposure to these rare and under-funded and researched cancers.

Paul & Brigitte Foley