Shane Stafford named to Al Lucas team
Tuesday July 15, 2008
ORLANDO, FL-- On Monday Orlando Predators quarterback Shane Stafford was named to the Arena Football League’s Al Lucas Team. To be a member of this team the player must be an active member in his community and Stafford has been a staple in the Orlando and Tampa Bay communities during his AFL career.
In Orlando, Stafford made a big difference for 15 year old Robert O’Brien who is a student at Winter Haven High School. Shortly after making the school’s Junior Varsity baseball team in January, O’Brien was diagnosed with testicular cancer and had to undergo several chemotherapy sessions instead of attending school and playing baseball.
Stafford made two visits to O’Brien’s home in February that helped him get through those times that were not so easy as he fought constant nausea and weakness in his body. In his second visit, the Preds quarterback brought with him a slew of signed items including a jersey, a hat, a football, and a schedule poster.
“It meant a lot to me to have Shane come over to the house and spend time with me,” O’Brien said at the time. “I can’t wait to feel good enough to be able to come watch him play this season.”
For O’Brien, that did not happen until the Predators last home game of the season when the team gave him and his family tickets to watch the Preds take on the New Orleans VooDoo. After the Preds pulled out the victory, Stafford jumped over the boards to greet O’Brien and his family to celebrate the victory. However, the biggest victory of the night was the news that O’Brien had beaten the testicular cancer to which Stafford said, “This puts things into perspective for me now seeing that you are going to be okay.”
During the 2008 season, Stafford participated in various activities with the Children’s Miracle Network and continued to be actively involved at the Tampa Cancer Center working to council the families of young kids who have been diagnosed with cancer.
The winner of the 2008 Al Lucas Hero Award will be announced on Thursday as we work our way toward ArenaBowl XXII in New Orleans.