Tuesday, January 29, 2008

In Mia's own words

How did you get the idea to do this?
This game actually started in 1997, up in Milwakee, but it was an indoor game and it just consisted of women’s national team players, my teammates, and we played college seniors in the area. 2001 was the last game – we had the WUSA and the national team and there was a lot going on. This year, we just had the idea to bring the game back. It’s just such a good thing and Nomar jumped on board. We thought about the Home Depot – it’s in our backyard, and the guys from AEG, Tim Leiweke, were awesome about letting us use this venue. All the people that pitched in were awesome – the celebrities who came out – we didn’t think we’d get the response that we did. It was fantastic.

It's important to get the word out about registration, no?
It’s so important. I think the more that our country becomes a melting pot, the more important it is. What’s so wonderful about Nomar being involved is the importance of minorities getting involved and getting into the bank. Southern California, you see so many people of so many ethnicities. That was illustrated out there today, with the bone marrow donors and the recipients. That five minutes it takes to get registered. I can’t wait to get that call. You change a family’s life – not just the recipient’s, but the entire family’s life – forever. You change that despair and struggle they’ve had and give them an opportunity for hope. I’m just so grateful for all the fans that came out and all the people that supported this.

Because of your brother you can really relate to all the families struggling with these types of diseases - how does it feel to know what they're going through?

It’s motivating. I know what it was like. My brother was told by his doctors, “you have to have a bone marrow transplant.” Then the insurance company said, ‘We don’t think we’re going to pay for it.” That’s to live – and he’s got a young son and a wife. I was making 35, 000 dollars at the time and I was begging for any kind of help. He deserved it. Then we were told, “We can’t find a match for you.” We eventually found his biological father, but that was just a half-match. They call it a haplo. People asked me, what was your goal today? If I got just one more person signed up, that’s one more opportunity that someone out there has and that makes all the difference in the world – in their lives. Watching that young girl out there, I thought, “That could be our daughter.”

Will this become an annual event?
We hope so. We really hope so. We’ll go back and revaluate, but the response has already been good. The celebrities said they had a blast and sounds like the fans did, too.

You dished out a lot of assists to the celebrities. (Smiling) I did.


just another one of you said...

Is the Guzan to Villa story not being covered here b/c he's no longer considered a Chivas player?

jason said...

More pictures of Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy, please.

I think this sort of event could be done with each of the new WPS teams.