Hamm, Nomar try to raise awareness

first_imgHamm and husband Nomar Garciaparra of the Dodgers were on hand Sunday afternoon at his old high school, St. John Bosco, to kick off a program to help patients and their families in their fight against cancer. The two call their program “9 to 5” because they consider giving back to the community a full-time effort. While youngsters scurried about on the field, adults filled out forms and had swabs taken to register with the marrow donor program. “Being a donor can be a life-altering experience. It’s an opportunity to help change the world,” Hamm said. Garciaparra said, “Just registering can save a person’s life.” BELLFLOWER – Some six months pregnant with twins, Mia Hamm deftly switched the soccer ball from her right foot to her left, then rolled it behind her to keep an eager young defender from taking it away. Eight-year-old Anthony Arroyo watched approvingly before gleefully sprinting up the field toward the opponents’ goal. Hamm began a foundation to support research on diseases of the bone marrow. She and Garciaparra are teaming with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and plan to put together a fundraising soccer match next year that will feature stars from sports and the entertainment industry. Hamm put her arm around Anthony, noted that he had a marrow transplant after a match was found in the registry, and asked him how he was feeling. “Good,” he shot back, grinning. Anthony’s parents, Ron and Juanita Arroyo, beamed afterward as they watched him running around the field. “We feel very lucky,” Juanita Arroyo said. “They were able to find a perfect (marrow) match for him.” Dr. Neena Kapoor, Anthony’s doctor, watched him chasing around and said, “It’s always amazing. It’s the best reward we can get.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img “It’s been a while,” said the 34-year-old Hamm, retired from soccer but still one of America’s most-recognized athletes. “Some things definitely have changed. I’ve put on a little weight.” There’s a strong connection between Hamm and Arroyo, who, thanks to the National Marrow Donor Program’s registry, can run and play soccer with the other kids. last_img read more