Redskins outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan on Monday was joined by several of his teammates and team officials at the 12th-annual Leukemia Golf Classic at Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, Va.
For the third consecutive year, linebacker Ryan Kerrigan hosted the Leukemia Golf Classic, continuing his community outreach efforts to help patients and families facing life-threatening illnesses.
In its 12th year overall, the golf tournament, which took place Monday at Lansdowne Resort in Leesberg, Va., welcomed Redskins players, coaches and front office personnel to play a round for the cause, which benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
“You see the results and tangible benefits of an event like this where you raise a lot of money for leukemia research and just blood cancer research in general. You see the generosity,” Kerrigan said. “It’s not a hard sell to get my teammates able to come out here and play a little golf at a beautiful place like Lansdowne. It’s a blast and knowing that you are doing it for a great cause like Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is even better.”
“He’s been such a great person throughout the time that I’ve been here,” head coach Jay Gruden said. “He’s a joy to work with. We’re always going to get his best effort on the field, but off the field is really where he thrives. He’s such a great person off the field and any time he has an event like this we’re the first ones out to support him.”
Kerrigan took over hosting duties from linebacker Brian Orakpo and the transition has been seamless. The linebacker has been most impressed with the generosity of his teammates to lend their time to the event and to the donors who play each May.
“The number total we usually raise is pretty significant – really, really significant money,” Kerrigan said. “Just knowing people are that generous and believe in the cause, that much makes it really special.”
Each Leukemia Golf Classic features a patient hero, whose story serves as an inspiration and as the direct meaning behind the tournament: to find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.
This year, two children were chosen – five-year-old Mason Mazzuca and 10-year-old Kasyn Olivadotti, daughter of Redskins linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti – and each got the opportunity to meet Kerrigan and share some of their stories alongside their parents.
Mason was diagnosed with T Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in February last year, which took away his vision and forced him into a grueling treatment regimen. After two surgeries, his vision has returned and he will continue to undergo treatments for the next couple of years.
Kasyn was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on her fourth birthday and had to endure several surgeries and painful treatment plans over the following two years. Now, at age 10, she is healthier and continues to be an inspiration and testament to the work that the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has committed.
“You see these kids and they are so happy,” Kerrigan said. “They have a lot of adversity going on but their still happy despite that. It offers you good perspective whenever you think times are tough, you know that these kids have it worse and they still have a good outlook on life. That’s definitely inspiring.”
“It’s awesome,” linebacker Will Compton said of seeing Olivadotti’s daughter. “I’m real pumped that [Kirk is] speaking later on about it. He’s not very loud about what he does or anything so I kind of found out somewhere else. I love Coach KO and I’m real happy to be here for him.”
Compton was one of many on the defensive side of the ball that showed up to support Kerrigan’s efforts. The point was made by defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, who brought the majority of his defensive staff with him and encouraged his players to attend, too.
“This is awesome,” Manusky said. “Somehow, someway people, every family, has somebody that has or had cancer in the past. It’s just to benefit and it’s going to be a great event.”