'This win was for her' | Kai Wagner and Fearless 43's Charlotte celebrate the end of her chemotherapy treatment


Saturday was a special day at Subaru Park, even before the team secured their first regular season home win of the year against Minnesota United FC. Leading up to first kick, Union faithful celebrated an important milestone for one of their own; Fearless 43 member Charlotte carried out the team’s pregame ritual, striking the drum to ceremoniously mark the end of her chemotherapy treatment.

She did so alongside left back Kai Wagner, who’s become one of her most steadfast supporters throughout her battle with childhood cancer. Through Kisses for Kyle, the pair met on Kick Childhood Cancer night in 2022, and have since grown to become family.

“This win was for her,” Wagner said after the match, which finished in a dominant 2-0 shutout.

“We’ve had a long journey in the last two years. There were a lot of ups and downs. It’s been a long road to recovery. We’ve treated each other like family the entire time, and it was a special moment to be on the field today with her."

Charlotte was diagnosed with High-Risk B Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia shortly before her second birthday. Now at age 4, she has finished chemotherapy at last.

Reflecting on the special moment, her mother, Alison Craven, shared how special it was for her family to celebrate the victory with their beloved Union community.

“Having the Philadelphia Union recognize and celebrate Charlotte for finishing chemo after 2.5yrs, ringing the bell, and literally kicking cancer meant the world to me and my family. We are incredibly blessed to have had Kai, Jenny and their boys as well as our Union family stand alongside us as pillars of strength through this journey to keep positivity, love and light in our hearts,” Craven said.

“The childhood cancer community is truly fortunate to have an organization like the Union to support them through their worst as well as their best days. Partnering with Kisses for Kyle and celebrating the Fearless 43 kids brings so much hope and that’s something a parent of a child with cancer can’t ever get enough of…hope. Charlotte ringing that bell as well as striking that drum alongside her Uncle Kai are two things I as well as so many others will always hold as symbols of everlasting hope. The Wagner’s and the Union are part of our family for life, I am so proud to be able to share Charlotte with you all as she continues to grow and live her life to its absolute fullest potential! So thank you to the Philadelphia Union, from the front office team, to the players, the staff around the stadium as well as the fans for lifting Charlotte and our family up and never putting us down.”

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