Jacksonville Sharks kicker Marco Capozzoli plays for more than just the win, he plays for Chevan. Chevan has captured the heart of Marco and has become an inspiration for the entire Sharks organization, spurring Capozzoli to found Kick for Kids.

Chevan, a three year old from England, was diagnosed with a tumor behind his eye on Christmas Eve of 2010. Shortly after, he arrived in Jacksonville to receive treatment at the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute located at Shands of Jacksonville. The youngster and his mother left behind two siblings, including his twin sister, to undergo intensive treatment in hopes of irradiating the life-threatening tumor.

Chevan's intersecting path with the Sharks first came at the Joe-Z Bowling Tournament, a tournament presented by McDonalds with proceeds supporting the Ronald McDonald House. Chevan and his mother, as residents of the Ronald McDonald House at the time, were teamed up with Sharks defensive back LaRache Jackson. Even at three years old, Chevan out bowled the professional football player.

"I met Chevan at a function at the bowling alley," stated Jackson on his first encounter with Chevan. "He actually beat me in bowling. We had so much fun together, I just felt a special connection with the kid and just fell in love with him."

Jackson and the Sharks extended an invite to Chevan and some of his friends also receiving proton therapy treatment to attend a practice as special guests. This is where Jackson introduced Chevan to his Capozzoli and the rest of the team.

Over the following weeks, Capozzoli and Jackson paid little Chevan several visits, often times bringing fellow teammates. To Chevan, these two athletes have given him joy and encouragement as he underwent treatment. Little would he know how much influence he would bestow to the players.

"Since the first day he came [to practice] he was such a great spirit," said Capozzoli. "He reminded me of my little cousins and family back home. I've never seen a little boy who's gone through so much be so happy. I never thought I'd meet anybody that would touch my life the way he did."

Capozzoli was just one of several Sharks that attended Chevan's farewell party at Shands after his last treatment on July 6. A toddler in tears, Chevan was anything but happy after coming out of his "nap" during his treatment. The moment Capozzoli came through the doors, however, Chevan's eyes lit up as he sprang to his feet, chasing towards his friend.

"We just like to come out here as a team," added Capozzoli "and help these kids have a good time because they're going through a lot. We just want them to know that they are as much an inspiration to us as we have been to them."

Chevan would leave for England the next morning, but not before Capozzoli would decide to create Kick for Kids in his honor. For the remainder of the 2011 season - including playoffs - Capozzoli is donating $10 for every point he kicks. Each extra point will garner $10 and $30 for each field goal will be donated directly to the Ronald McDonald House. Since the inception of Kick for Kids, Capozzoli has donated 15% of his game checks.

"I play this game because I love it and have the passion for it … not for the money," stated Capozzoli. "This game and this community has been great to me and I want to show my appreciation. I want to use my time as a Shark to do something that will make a difference in children's lives."

The Jacksonville Sharks organization will match all moneys donated by Capozzoli and invite others to do the same. Capozzoli added, "Whether someone gives a dollar for every kick or just one dollar, I hope we can do some good to continue to support these people in need."

Chevan returned home to England on July 9 after finishing his treatments. A limousine arrived at the Ronald McDonald house that day, provided by the team, to escort Chevan and his mother to the airport. Also awaiting the two was Capozzoli. The two hugged and cried but refrained from saying goodbye.

The two still chat constantly through Facebook and Skype. Chevan is scheduled to return next summer after he continues to undergo treatment at home in England. He is already looking forward to his trip to Disney World and a Sharks game with his buddy Marco.

Kick for Kids is gladly accepting pledges of any kind. For information on how to donate money or time to the Ronald McDonald House, please contact Jacksonville Sharks Director of Community Relations Jen Foskey at

Search Archive »

Browse by Year »


Browse by Month »

January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009