PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania field hockey program will hold a "Celebration of the Decades" event around its game with Brown this coming Sunday at noon. However, the Quakers will also use Sunday's game as an opportunity to honor one of its former captains and raise awareness about Osteogenic Sarcoma.
To honor Kate (Murphy) Gray, who graduated in 2005 and was a captain of Penn's last Ivy League championship team in 2004, the Quakers will sport gold as part of their uniforms to increase awareness, and they are asking fans to do the same. The program is also asking that fans who attend Sunday's match bring a contribution that they can make at the game, and the field hockey program will turn it over to CHOP for its Sarcoma research. (Fans who cannot attend Sunday's game are encouraged to click on the link above and make a contribution there for Sarcoma research.)
During the offseason, to continue the support, the field hockey program will be doing community service at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
About a year ago, Kate (Murphy) Gray was diagnosed with chondroblastic osteogenic sarcoma -- a high-grade type of bone cancer that is typically seen in children around puberty. A pediatric nurse oncologist herself, formerly at CHOP and now in California, Gray has treated children with this type of cancer many times. Gray had surgery to get her tumor removed, and will be receiving her final chemotherapy treatment next Monday (as a result, she will be unable to attend Sunday's game and alumnae festivities).
"When I was making calls last spring to alums to make contributions to the Penn field hockey program, I spoke with a parent of one of Kate's teammates. She was kind enough to inform me of Kate's difficult year and health concerns," said head coach Colleen Fink. "She encouraged me to reach out to her daughter, Kate's teammate, for more details. Since that moment we have wanted to do something special for Kate to let her know that she will always be a part of the Penn Field Hockey family. I hope she has drawn strength from her career as an excellent, tough and competitive athlete. Penn Field Hockey sends its love, support and Penn Pride to Kate and her family as they continue in this battle to kick cancer's butt! We hope to see her at our alumnae game in the spring!"