When the directors of Carlsbad Wave and
Carlsbad Lightning came together their main focus was on creating a single
entity community based club for the city of Carlsbad. January 4th & 5th, both clubs and the soccer community
of Carlsbad came together as Carlsbad United FC and put on a very special
event, that event being ‘Play for Aaron’. The fundraiser consisted largely of
in-house scrimmages over the Saturday and Sunday with the highlight of the
weekend being a showcase game
played on the Saturday at Poinsettia Community Park between Aaron’s ex-Carlsbad
Lightning team mates and his ex-La Costa Canyon High School team mates.
(Above: Aaron’s ex-Lightning team mates in red with his ex-LCC team mates in black)
Aaron’s Story: While away at college in November 2013, Aaron became ill with an extremely aggressive strain of Neisseria (bacterial) meningitis for which there is not a U.S. approved vaccine. While meningococcal disease is often fatal, doctors were able to save Aaron's life but unfortunately had to amputate both his lower legs after the meningitis led to sepsis (blood infection) and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) which caused these severe complications. Antibiotics have since eradicated the meningitis, however Aaron now faces a long and challenging road to recovery.
Carlsbad United FC Coach Shawn Koutahi personally visited Aaron in the UCSD Medical Center (where Aaron has recently been moved out of the ICU) straight after the fundraiser.
“He was so upbeat, especially with the news about the 'Play for Aaron' weekend and the fact that all his buddies from Lightning and LCC came out to play for him. I handed him a signed shirt and signed ball from all the showcase players which Aaron and his family appreciated greatly. It was really a special moment and made all the hard work that went into the weekend all the more worth it”, said Koutahi.
Koutahi continued, “Aaron Loy is an inspiration to all of us, the response and turnout from the community and his friends ever since he was hospitalized has been incredible and the 'Play for Aaron' weekend was just further proof how special he is. It was privilege to be part of the 'Play for Aaron' fundraiser and his old teammates were honored to take to the field one more time to support him. He is true competitor and team player, his courage, spirit and determination is unparalleled. He is loved and respected by everyone who has the fortune of getting to know him, and those close to him know he is destined for greatness despite whatever adversity he's faced with.”
Carlsbad United FC’s Technical Director, Steve Cowell, commented, “I made it a priority to go and watch the showcase game between Aaron’s old teams and I was blown away by the response from his friends. From talking to parents on the sidelines I got the impression that a great deal of the boys felt useless in terms of how they could help Aaron. This excellent spectacle of a soccer game seemed to be the perfect outlet. Every player had Aaron’s number 4 on the back of their shirt which has now been retired from the LCC High School soccer team. You needed to be there to see it. It was really indescribable.”
Taken from Aaron’s Caring Bridge family blog, Aaron’s Sister, Lindsay Loy, commented, “This past weekend, Carlsbad United FC (formerly Lightning - Aaron's competitive soccer club of 7 years) held a two-day tournament / fundraiser. Teams of various ages played in honor of Aaron, including a match between his former high school team (LCC) and his competitive club team. THANK YOU...Shawn Koutahi, Paddy Trolan and Janie FitzSimons for brainstorming and orchestrating this awesome event. And like all successful events…HUGE KUDOs to the scores of volunteers, sponsors, players, families and fans who made it happen.”
Carlsbad United FC’s Director of Operations, Michael Duggan, also chipped in, “I am not just proud as a Director but as a father who has raised both of his daughters here in the Carlsbad community for the past sixteen years. Carlsbad is a fantastic community and this outpouring of support for one of our fellow players epitomizes the club and the people of this great town.”
After totaling all funds, Carlsbad United FC, managed to raise a staggering $20,610 which will go to the Aaron Loy Recovery Fund.
Event organizer Patrick Trolan summarized, “The amount we raised has shattered our expectations and is a tribute to all involved. We would like to thank all of the volunteers, in particular Janie FitzSimons, Coach Shawn Koutahi, and Coach Randy Erman who put in countless hours for the event. We would also like to thank all of our very gracious sponsors as well as everyone who turned up and contributed to the fundraiser. Lastly, we would like to thank Coach Craig Dean, who coached the LCC team, as well as Encinitas Express, Del Mar Sharks, and Rancho Santa Fe Attack who all participated in the fundraiser.”
You can follow Aaron's progress at: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/aaronloy
If you would like to help Aaron’s cause you can donate via check to either:
HelpHopeLive - In Honor of Aaron Loy (Tax Deductible)
Payable To: HelpHOPELive
Memo line: In Honor of Aaron Loy
Mail to: HelpHOPELive
Two Radnor Corporate Center
100 Matsonford Road, Suite 100
Radnor, PA 19087
Aaron Loy Recovery Fund (Gift / Non Tax Deductible)
Pacific Premier Bank
781 Garden View Court, Suite 100
Encinitas, CA 92024