Union, HEADstrong create lasting memories for one special Union fan

Whether you are a new fan or one that has been around for a while, there is never a bad time to take a trip to the pitch and watch a game.

For a young Union fan named Ashlyn Brysiak, the experience was a touch more special.  

In June of 2016, Ashlyn was diagnosed with leukemia.

On Saturday when the Union faced off against Portland, she – along with her mother, father and a group of friends – were in attendance.

The group got eight suite tickets to the inter-conference contest from the HEADstrong Foundation. Ashlyn was also given a youth jersey and eight sideline pre-game passes by the Philadelphia club.

The family had never been to a Union game, but Ashlyn made it clear they thankful for the experience.

“I’m really excited,” Ashlyn said. “I really like everything so far. It’s been a lot of fun.”

The HEADstrong foundation started in 2006 and aims to improve the quality of life for cancer patients and their families by providing essential services. Since 2007, the HEADstrong Foundation has raised over $9.1 million supporting 13,172 patients and their families.

Overall, it’s pretty awesome,” Ashlyn’s father, Todd, said. “Ashlyn’s a die-hard soccer fan. We’ve watched a bunch of games on TV. The environment’s pretty awesome and we were looking forward to this.

While it may be small in the grand scheme of things, Ashlyn’s parents aren’t taking the gesture lightly.

“It’s been a challenging 10 months,” Todd said. “There’s been a lot of ups and downs, but now that she’s able to get out and do some stuff – go to events, see some games – she’s moving back to being a normal kid again.” 


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