KINNEY FAMILY Enlarge
When 13-year-old Maya Kinney, of South Toledo, was told she’ll need major surgery to straighten out her spine from her skull to her tailbone her first question to the doctor was when and if she could play soccer.
“That was her first question,” said her mother, Jen Kinney. “She didn’t care about how intrusive and invasive the surgery is. It is an eight-to-12 hour surgery with a seven-to-10 day stay in ICU.
“If her biggest fear is not playing soccer we‘ll be OK.”
Maya has a severe case of adolescent scoliosis and is expecting to have surgery in December.
Even with a successful surgery she won‘t be able to play soccer for at least a year, so for the first time since she was 4, Maya missed this summer’s try outs for the Greater Toledo Futbol Club. When she wasn’t there other soccer parents began to ask why.
That’s when the local soccer community sprung into action to help. Supporters organized a three-on-three soccer tournament Saturday at Rivercrest Park in Perrysburg. More than 70 teams already have signed up. Proceeds will help the family, which is facing $150,000 in surgery expenses.
“We figured why not have an event with something she enjoys,” said Jorge Diaz, vice president of the Perrysburg Soccer Club and Perrysburg High School coach. “Some moms organized a committee to get volunteers, donations, and make the event successful.”
The initial goal was $3,000 to help the family, but Mr. Diaz is expecting to push the total higher.
The tournament includes divisions for players from 6 years old through adults. Each team is guaranteed at least three games. There will be two, 12-minute halves and two-minute breaks for halftime. There are no goalies and winners will get medals.
“It is a fun event, a lot of goals and the idea is to benefit Maya,” Mr. Diaz said.
Donations and proceeds from T-shirt sales Saturday also will go to help the family. Mrs. Kinney said her family feels extremely blessed by the fundraisers and community help.
There is also a donation page at http://www.gofundme.com/b6a8fw.