By Cesar Trelles – 10/21/2014
It is hard to believe that it has already been a year since the New York Cosmos made a young child’s dream come true. Back on October 20th, 2013, the Cosmos made young Zachary Bernstein their honorary captain for the day when the Cosmos battled FC Edmonton.
Zachary Bernstein was an 11 year-old boy who was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) from age 10. DIPG is a type of brain tumor found in the Pons, the part of the brainstem near the lower back of the head. DIPG affects children, with most diagnoses occurring between 5 and 10 years of age.
DIPG accounts for 10-15% of all brain tumors in children, with about 150 new diagnoses each year. Fewer than 10% of children diagnosed with DIPG survive two years from diagnosis. Zachary passed away on March 12, 2014.
Since that fateful day, the Five Points have never forgotten young Zachary and forever keep him in their memory by way of a symbolic banner that hangs in the 5 Points section during home matches that has the words “The 12th Man” depicted on the banner. The banner symbolizes the bond that Zachary and the 5 Points share as they have both been considered the 12th man on the field for the Cosmos.
This Saturday during the final home match of the 2014 season we want everyone to take part in a special prematch ceremony to honor young Zachary’s memory. Ironically enough, this Saturday 10/25 would have also been Zachary’s birthday. To honor young Zachary, we are asking all in attendance on Saturday to rise in unison for a Standing Ovation just prior to the start of the match. The Cosmos have agreed to make this part of their day and there will be an announcement prompting everyone to rise just prior to the starting whistle of play.
Here is video courtesy of Cosmos TV that captured some of the highlights of that special day a year ago. We miss you Zach, forever the 12th man!