“Awesome Avery” Berg, the West Seattle 11-year-old fighting a rare type of brain tumor, is now six months post-diagnosis and one month post-surgery. Her mom Kristie Berg is continuing to publish updates online. And she e-mailed us the other day with not only an update on Avery, but also because she wants to make sure you know about an upcoming soccer match with part of the proceeds going to pediatric brain-tumor research in Avery’s honor: It’s on Wednesday at Memorial Stadium downtown, a “testimonial match” honoring newly retired Seattle Sounders FC veteran Zach Scott, who lives in West Seattle.
If you’re not familiar with the “testimonial match” concept, the original announcement from Sounders FC – co-hosting the match with Emerald City Supporters – includes this:
… Testimonials are a long-standing tradition in soccer culture, particularly in the United Kingdom and South America. These special matches are held to honor a particular player for his or her service to the club.
The Zach Scott Testimonial Match is taking place at Memorial Stadium (401 5th Avenue N.), the home of the Seattle Sounders in 1974-1975 and 1997-2002. With teams coached by fellow Sounders FC originals Osvaldo Alonso and Brad Evans, the match is set to feature teammates and friends across all 15 years of Scott’s career in Seattle, including Kasey Keller, Roger Levesque and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, among others. …
(Here’s who else is set to play.) Scott was known during his career for giving tirelessly to local causes, as noted in our September story about his retirement announcement. Proceeds from tickets to the 7 pm match will benefit the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, the RAVE Foundation, and a college fund for Scott’s three children. Scott published a post online this week about why he chose the PBTF, explaining that he and his family are longtime friends of the Berg family:
… The Berg family, ever faithful, decided to pour all their time and resources into not only the care of their daughter, but in bringing awareness to the incredible lack of funding and resources given to pediatric brain tumor research. The community rallied around the Berg family and with the help of The Run of Hope, raised over $150,000 in a few short weeks in an attempt to do so. All of that money was given directly to Seattle Children’s Hospital for research and clinical trials for pediatric brain tumors.
However, that is not enough. Pediatric Cancer currently receives only 4% of the national budget spent on cancer research and development. On March 1, I will lace up my boots one last time with several of my friends in an attempt to further these efforts. Seattle has always shown me and my family such love. I urge you to do something amazing and continue to support families that face these devastating realities. It could be any of us. As Avery would say, “You are the difference makers.” A portion of proceeds from ticket sales as well as all the in-match auction proceeds will go to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Fund run by Seattle Children’s Hospital.
You can get your tickets to the match by going here. Meantime, in addition to her ongoing online updates (the most recent one is here), Avery’s mom tells WSB, “Avery is still fighting and has three more months of awful chemo, but she is doing very well considering. She had a downright miraculous surgery in January where they were able to remove 100% of her tumor. It’s a long, awful road, but we are doing our best and will continue to fight to support pediatric cancer research and advancement.”