Since it's founding in 2016, SYA has raised over $36,000 for 23 young athletes in need.
Brianna is a cheerleader and lacrosse/softball player who was shot in a random act of violence at a birthday party. She is doing very well in recovery and continues to inspire all with her strength and positivity. SYA gave $1,000 to aid in her hospital bills and help her get back into playing the sports she loves!
SYA is thrilled to help a talented high school athlete named Antonio Macias, while he’s recovering from a baseball injury. To help with his injury, we donated $750 to speed up his recovery process and get him back in the game!
SYA is supporting another amazing student beneficiary, Gracie, and sending her our positive thoughts during her Leukemia treatment
Pavla loves karate and is excited to get back to her workouts at the dojo. She was diagnosed with cancer in July of 2020 and recently rang the bell to mark the end of chemotherapy. We are so happy to be a part of her journey to Get Back In the Game.
Kelsea is a softball pitcher who has hip dysplasia and a torn labrum. She’s been out of softball since February 2021 and recently had hip surgery. SYA wishes the best for her recovery and we can’t wait to see her back in the game!
Landon, a local Rancho Penasquitos resident, suffers from a heart condition that has suddenly become critical. Landon is in need of a heart transplant and SYA is helping to raise funds to cover some of the extensive medical costs his family will incur. To help, SYA has donated $1000, and a fundraiser on February 16th at knotty barrel was held. A total of $7,250 was raised to help get Landon back on track. Landon is accomplished at martial arts having trained since 2011 and has already achieved brown belt. He hopes to achieve his black belt once he is able to return to training.
Meet Diego, Age 8. He was born with spine bifida, and currently does adaptive basketball! To help Diego stay in the sport he loves, SYA donated $500 in his name.
Meet Riley age 15. She is on her high school cheerleading team and loves adaptive water and snow sports. She really enjoys getting out on the beach and being able to compete in beach 5Ks in an adaptive chair. SYA is proud to contribute to the cost of a new sports chair to allow her to participate in the sports she loves. Go Riley!
Meet Jocelyn, age 7. Jocelyn is an active soccer player. Some of our members had the privilege of meeting our newest beneficiary. She is battling Leukemia. We are so inspired by her strength, and can’t wait to see her back in the game!
We are so happy to have been able to help Hunter, one of our newest beneficiaries! Hunter started adaptive sports at the age of three. He has participated on the local wheelchair basketball and rugby teams as well as learning many adaptive sports at summer camps in both San Diego and Chico, CA. He has competed in the WCMX (wheelchair motocross) World Championships twice and the SoCal WCMX Showdown. He won first place in his first competition in 2016 by catching air off the mini mega ramp! Hunter loves going to the skatepark in his wheelchair to drop in over the coping or race through the courses with friends and fellow skaters. He really is an inspiration to all of us!
This is one of our newest beneficiaries, Ethan! Ethan has played soccer since he was 4 years old. He made his high school team last year & had planned on trying out again this year. For his sophomore year he decided to play football and secured all the kicking/ punting positions. Unfortunately in practice Ethan was tackled while doing a fake punt and suffered an ACL and Meniscus tear. His surgery went well but he will be out of sports for a year. Ethan is pushing himself in PT, and hopes his repairs hold up & his hamstring is not too comprised so he can get back to the sports he loves.
Meet Parker Olenick:
Parker was born with Cerebral Palsy, which affects his balance and gait. He is a 15 year old competitive adaptive athlete in multiple sports - Sled Hockey and Surfing are his top 2 sports. He has goals to make it to the Paralympics in both sports. He is the goalie for the San Diego Ducks Sled Hockey team where he plays for both the junior and adult teams. He is very dedicated to his teams and is always striving to better himself and his teams by encouraging them to train hard and to always have fun when competing. When Parker is not training or competing in hockey, you can find him in the surf. He is also the Captain of the Stoke for Life Junior Adaptive Surf Team. Parker loves to spread the word about adaptive sports and setting goals and has had the opportunity to share his story at several venues this year and hopes to do more in the future.
Meet Lera Doederlein:
Lera, age 16 was born with a condition in her leg bones that made it very difficult to walk. At age 14, Lera, her doctors and her family came to the difficult conclusion that her best chance at walking and becoming an athlete was to amputate both legs above the knee and allow her to walk with prosthetics. Since recovering from her surgeries, she has been very active and competing in many sports including paracycling and surfing. Her passion though is sled hockey. Lera recently tried out and was named as a member of USA Hockey National Women's Development team for 2019-2020 and is incredibly excited about this new adventure.
Meet James Williams:
James is a 13 year old boy with Spina Bifida. He has played multiple adaptive sports include basketball and LaCrosse. When he found Sled Hockey, he focused all of his efforts on that sport. In 2015, he joined the San Diego Ducks Sled Hockey Team and has been playing for 4 years. He and his team are National Sled Hockey Champions 2019 and it is his desire to become apart of the National Sled Hockey Team then become a Para Olympian.
Meet Halle Fernandez:
Halle, age 14 has played team sports since 3rd grade. She began with soccer and basketball. She moved on to club basketball in the 4th grade, and then moved on to club soccer from 6th - 8th grade. During her Freshmen year of high school, she made the JV teams for basketball and track. Unfortunately, in May of 2019 she was playing in a club basketball game and jumped to block the opposing player, but landed awkwardly. That landing tore her ACL. Halle had surgery on August 21, 2019 and faces a year of physical therapy while she regains her strength. The injury will cause her to miss all sports during her Sophomore year, but Halle is determined to work hard in physical therapy and Get Back In The Game as soon as she can.
Meet Zander Solis:
Zander Solis is a 10-year-old Ramona athlete who plays on his local Pop Warner football team. Zander started having difficulty with his sight. Zander was diagnosed with a brain tumor on September 8, 2018. The very next morning on September 9 he had surgery to remove the tumor. The surgeons were successful in removing the entire tumor but they also had to remove his pituitary gland. The tumor had been resting on Zander’s optic nerve and left him with very little eyesight. It is unclear how much of his eyesight he will regain if any. Zander is working hard in physical therapy on his balance and is determined to play football again. Zander is, without a doubt, a true warrior.
We will stay updated on his recovery and we are 100% going to see him play football WHEN he gets back in the game. Stay strong Zander!
Support Young Athletes donated $1,000 toward Zander’s recovery.
Nick Herrmann is a basketball player at Torrey Pines High School who was diagnosed with bone cancer in his left leg. He had to withdraw from school immediately to begin his battle against cancer. He had surgery a few weeks ago to remove the tumor and a large part of a bone in his lower left leg. He is recovering well but will still be undergoing chemotherapy. Daniel and Adam Pruschki, brothers and fellow basketball players at
Meet Nick Herrmann:
Westview High School, have matched up against Nick in seasons past. On the court, Nick is a competitor of theirs, but when Daniel and Adam, along with the other teen athlete Board Members of their non-profit organization, Support Young Athletes (SYA), heard about Nick and his current medical condition, they all knew they had to help. On December 22, 2018, several SYA Board Members met with Nick and his family and presented them with a $1,000 check. Nick and the group of SYA middle and high schoolers formed an instant bond. Their love of basketball and sports, along with compassion on both sides, elevated them above any feelings of competition.
Grace lives with a neurological disorder known as Friedrich’s Ataxia. It has left her wheelchair bound since the age of 5. Grace is now 8 years old and has been competing in adaptive sports including her recent passion, surfing. Grace is fearless and loves being out on the water on her board. However, she can’t compete in winter because the water is too cold. Grace reached out to SYA and asked for help to cover the costs of cold water surf gear. SYA was so excited to help her and donated the $500 needed to get Grace back out on the waves. Grace is an energetic, outgoing athlete who aspires to compete at the highest levels possible. We are looking forward to seeing her achieve her goals and Get Back in the Game.
Meet Grace Medlin:
Miryssa Place is a 13-year-old competitive soccer player who resides in Ramona. She tore her ACL in August of 2018 while playing soccer. Miryssa had surgery on October 22nd, and although the surgery went well, she is still expected to be out of sports for nine to twelve months in order to fully recover.
Miryssa has played soccer since she was 4 and being sidelined is tough. When we met with Miryssa just 2 weeks after her surgery, she was already anxious to get back to the soccer field.
It was such a delight to meet Miryssa. We know she is going to be even stronger after her recovery and a force to be reckoned with on the field. See you soon #13!
Support Young Athletes contributed $1,000 to Miryssa recovery.
Meet Miryssa Place:
Support Young Athletes is pleased to help another local athlete. Sarah Loza is a fourth-grader at Deer Canyon Elementary. On Oct. 10, 2017 this joyful, energetic little girl was diagnosed with stage 4 Burkitt’s lymphoma. Since her diagnosis, Sarah has gone through extensive chemotherapy treatment and spent numerous days in the hospital, isolated from her friends and the outside world. In January of this year, Sarah and her family were given the wonderful news that Sarah was in remission. Sarah still had to continue treatment and just recently got to “ring the bell” to signal that she was done with chemotherapy. Now, Sarah will focus on rebuilding her strength and growing stronger. She is looking forward to getting back to an active lifestyle that will allow her to get back to sports. Support Young Athletes is proud to be a part of Sarah’s recovery by raising the funds she needs to “Get Back in the Game.”
Meet Sarah Loza:
Isaac, a junior at Mt. Carmel High School, suffered serious damage to his spinal cord in a car accident on October 6. Isaac is now paralyzed from the chest down and will need to adapt to life in a wheelchair. He will require exercise and strength training to become self-sufficient and get back to the sports he loves. Isaac is a shining example that life isn't about what you can't do its about what you CAN do. Isaac has been working hard to regain his strength and plans to return to cheer-leading, snowboarding and surfing. He continues to be such a positive and inspiring young athlete. We are excited to be there with him in 2018 and beyond and watch him “Get Back In The Game”. Thank you to our community and the sponsors that generously helped us achieve such an incredible gift for Isaac. BT'S Southern BBQ, Jennifer Howard, Real Estate Agent, and Massage Heights Rancho Penasquitos.
Meet Isaac Coulapides:
We are so honored to have had the chance to meet Rileigh, a little dynamo who never gives up!
Rileigh Bennion at the age of 10 is already an elite gymnast. When her hip started to hurt, she thought she had just pulled a muscle. After several visits to the doctor and then specialists she and her family learned she had an extremely rare bone disease. Rileigh was diagnosed with Legg Calve Perthes, a degenerative bone disease. This disease causes a disruption of the blood supply to the hip bone. Without blood supply, the hip bone will begin to die and collapse.
The Bennion family researched possible treatments for Rileigh and found that a hospital in Baltimore Maryland was able to provide a surgery offering the best chances of saving Rileigh's hip bone. Unfortunately when the Bennion family requested coverage from their medical insurer, they were denied coverage as the service was out of network. The Bennion family is expecting to pay nearly $75,000 out of pocket to cover travel and medical expenses in order to help their daughter.
Rileigh and her family were the very first recipients of funding from SYA. We will watch Rileigh progress day by day and hope that she can get back to the sport she loves.