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Rock Will Adopt Two Youth On Saturday

Rock Begin Partnership With The Friends Of Jaclyn Foundation This Weekend

Oakville, ON – The Toronto Rock and The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation are pleased to announce the adoption by the Rock of two local youth on Saturday afternoon prior to the team’s second pre-season game at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville, ON.

The Toronto Rock was approached by FOJ in hopes of pairing Tobin Haas, a teenager from Brampton, Ontario, with the team. In 2015, Toronto Rock Owner, Jamie Dawick, witnessed firsthand the impact a team can have on the quality of life of a child battling cancer when he attended an FOJ adoption at Princeton University.

The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that focuses on improving the quality of life for children and their families battling pediatric brain tumors and other childhood cancers while raising awareness about these diseases. The Murphy Family founded Friends of Jaclyn in 2005 after their eldest daughter, Jaclyn, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor (Medulloblastoma). The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation (FOJ) pairs children battling childhood cancers with local sports teams, clubs and community groups. Since its inception, FOJ has adopted 700 children onto over 30 different types of men’s and women’s teams and has a growing list of more than 1200 teams waiting to adopt an honorary team member. For more information on Friends of Jaclyn please visit

17-year old Tobin Haas was diagnosed with anaplastic ependymoma (a rare form of brain tumor) at the age of 2. He went to Sick Kids in Toronto to endure surgery, chemotherapy, and 33 radiation treatments. Tobin had recurrences of his tumor at the ages of 5 and 9 leading to more surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Today, Tobin is doing well and has a fierce determination to accomplish his goals.

When Tobin’s mother, Karen Haas, registered him with Friends of Jaclyn to be adopted, the foundation knew the Toronto Rock was where Tobin should be. With news of the team’s willingness to adopt Tobin, the family had a special request: Would the Toronto Rock be willing to adopt Tobin’s friend, Nicky, as well?

6-year old Nicky Martin was diagnosed with ependymoma (the same tumor as Tobin) at the age of 3. Due to the tumor’s precarious placement against Nicky’s brainstem, a special surgical plan had to be formulated. Nicky’s surgeon, Dr. Dirks, assured the family that Nicky was in good hands. He shared the story of a boy he performed multiple surgeries on to remove the same type of tumor. The boy was now grown and doing very well in school as well as life. With this encouragement, Nicky’s family proceeded with the surgery and removal of the entire tumor. Nicky continued treatment at Sick Kids Toronto with several cycles of chemotherapy and 31 radiation treatments. In April 2016, Nicky suffered a recurrence of the tumor. Again, Dr. Dirks removed this tumor.

During Nicky’s journey at Sick Kids Toronto, his family met the mother of a boy who was also treated at Sick Kids Toronto by Dr. Dirks. This boy was Tobin Haas and was the exact boy the surgeon was referring to while planning Nicky’s surgery. When the boys physically met, they became fast friends. The two boys walk hand in hand as they share this journey together.

“Friends of Jaclyn is proud to join forces with Jaime Dawick and the Toronto Rock to create this new chapter for Tobin and Nicky in their pediatric cancer journey. We are grateful to have been welcomed with open hearts and know this pairing will be wonderful for everyone,” says Alicia Provenzano, Adoption Coordinator for the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation.

As part of the adoption ceremony, Dawick signed Nicky and Tobin to contracts as the two will become honorary members of the team. The boys will attend Rock practices and home games throughout the season and become fully immersed in the team.

“I was moved by the ceremony I was fortunate enough to attend at Princeton a year ago,” said Dawick. “The little bit we can do can be very impactful. The whole team and organization is looking forward to taking part and supporting Nicky and Tobin.”

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