The vision of the LampStrong Foundation is to positively influence the lives of those battling cancer and to encourage survivors to make the most of their second chance at life. One of its programming pillars is simple: the Foundation will work to brighten the day of cancer patients and those in recovery by providing activities for them and their families.
Early on, with limited resources and with a desire to do something of influence with his foundation, and with the help of an angel that insists on remaining anonymous, Matt was gently directed towards the most obvious of allies: Major League Soccer and many of its teams. In this way, the Hero Program was born.
The Hero Program is one in which Matt, along with the support of the home team, hosts a cancer patient or survivor (as well as his or her family and friends) to the match. At the conclusion of the competition, win or lose, he greets his Hero down on the pitch. This is when cancer stories are shared. Matt’s story serves as a beacon of hope to his guest. The reverse is true as well. This is when Matt is humbled and reminded of his good fortune, attained through struggle and positive thought, that is illustrated in the presence of his guest. This is when his guest becomes a LampStrong Hero.
With the support of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club and Major League Soccer’s affiliated clubs, the LampStrong Hero Program continues. There are now LampStrong Heroes as far north as Vancouver, Canada and as far south as Orlando, Florida. There are heroes as far west as Los Angeles and as far east as New York.
Foundations that direct funds towards cancer research are a dime a dozen. Foundations that focus on emotional and motivational support to cancer patients in treatment and recovery are special. Matt Lampson, the Hero Program, and the LampStrong Foundation do just that.