Youth soccer club partners with pink fund to help breast cancer survivors

A  youth soccer club in Fremont is honoring breast cancer survivors by holding an awareness campaign.

Coaches and players say they have a new perspective. They say they know from personal experience the impact breast cancer has on patients and their loved ones. 

Club members say they want to help survivors and their families during this difficult time.

The NorCal Rush Youth Soccer Club regularly holds practice at Karl Nordvic Park in Fremont.

The players and coaches say the disease has touched many of their lives and that this has been a particularly difficult year. 

"My god-daughter was diagnosed and she's in the middle of chemo right now. It hit me pretty hard," said Paul Keswick, the Director of Coaching Girls Program for the club.  

Coach Keswick says he is  inspired by his 34-year-old god-daughter. 

He tells KTVU two assistant coaches lost their mothers to breast cancer this past summer. 

Now, the team is paying homage to victims and survivors by wearing pink laces and in some cases, pink socks too . 

Now that I have family members and even friends that have gone through it, I  have a better understanding about it and a more emotional connection," said Madeline Keswick who's 17 years old.

An emotional connection that has led to a unique bond among these players ranging in age from 5 to 18.  

"My grandmother...she died from breast cancer," said 9-year-old Lessandro Villegas. 
He says he's wearing pink shoe laces to attract attention to the cause.  

"For other women who have breast cancer... to support help them," said Villegas.  

Wearing pink is part of the soccer club's online campaign called the Pink Fund to raise money to help cancer survivors pay bills while undergoing  treatment. 

Even young players realize the threat of cancer is very real.

"It's actually quite terrifying to think how far we've come technology- wise, to think that we haven't found a really good cure," said 16 year old Annabella Mata. 
Coaches say  what they're teaching here is more than soccer.  It's about  team work, helping those in need and giving without expecting anything in return.   

"What's most  important in our lives , at the end of the day,  we've got our family and our friends and there's nothing else that really matters," said Coach Keswick.  

The players  plan to wear pink through November 14th when their awareness campaign ends.
Their goal is to raise $3,500.