Posted on July 3, 2014 at 7:31 PM
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)— The world cup has opened up the game of soccer to brand new fans and UofL’s soccer team is ready to get the local community involved.
Dawson Barr is special in every sense of the word.
On Thursday the 8-year-old had a ball with two of UofL’s soccer players.
Barr diagnosed with brain cancer at 6-months-old and has undergone chemo for five years He is now legally blind, but his mom says he keeps on smiling.
“He has a magnetic personality,” she said. “That’s just the way he is.”
Senior soccer players Nolan Moore and Ben Strong gearing up for the team's special clinic later in July, a way to give back to children like Barr.
“The smiles are so good to see, the giving back we love,” Strong said.
The clinic is called Kickin it with JT and friends. JT is the special needs nephew of coach Ken Lolla. He hangs with the players at their clinics and Lolla's sister seeing the difference it made in his life.
“I think god is telling me you need to do a special clinic for kids like JT,” lolla said.
Four years ago Kickin it with JT and friends was formed with children and adults with special needs coming to their own clinic with u of l soccer players. Barr among those first participants.
“It’s his way to feel normal, like no one has anything on him,” Shane Barr, Dawson’s dad, said.
A place to feel normal and a place for them to be celebrated.
“Sometimes when things or people are different we tend to back away,” Tina Lolla said. “This is a chance to embrace and celebrate.”
The clinic taking up to 50 participants and they need plenty more volunteers. Cheering and learning from those special adults and children like Dawson
The Lolla's said there's still room for more people to either volunteer or have a loved one participate.
They said either way they promise one kickin good time.
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