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Sep, 2019

Enriching the World Through the Beautiful Game


“I’m just trying to leave the world a better place through soccer.”

These are the words of 15 year old Dylan Mapston, a freshman goalkeeper playing for Phoenix Rush. And he has been doing just that through Keepers Care for Kids, a non profit organization designed “to provide comfort to children and families as they battle cancer”.


In honor of his aunt’s successful fight against breast cancer, Dylan has always worn a pink goalkeepers jersey. In 2016, Dylan saw a news story about childhood cancer patients. Moved by their story, he knew he had to lend a helping hand to comfort kids who were battling cancer or who had family members who were fighting cancer. He then coordinated a stuffed animal drive (when he was just eleven years old) to lift the spirits of children at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. This was the start of his nonprofit, Keepers Care for Kids.  


Dylan based the name of his nonprofit, Keepers Care for Kids on the goal of bringing light to kids who are affected by cancer, and as “a nod to my love of goalkeeping”. 


Several months after his first stuffed animal drive, Dylan found out that his two-year old cousin, Cheyenne, was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor on her spine. “After seeing how big of an impact just a little toy had on her,” he said, “I decided I needed to do something bigger.” 


To this day, Keepers Care for Kids has collected and donated thousands of stuffed animals and toys to hospitals around Arizona and Oregon. Arizona hospitals, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Cardon Children’s, and Diamond Children’s have all been impacted along with Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and Providence Health in Oregon. 


Dylan has also grown his nonprofit to benefit children in other ways. He explains, “I helped start a drive to collect gift cards for patients at Marshfield Children’s in Wisconsin through a goalkeeper camp, Camp Shutout, I attended this past summer.  I have also collected and donated keeper jerseys and gloves for the Paradise High School soccer teams in California after many of them lost their homes. I have also done drives for Arizonans for Children, who help kids in foster care.”


Through soccer, Dylan has been able to impact so many kids around the United States with his compassionate heart. His love for soccer began when he was just five years old. He and his sister were watching the 2010 World Cup, and after watching just a few matches, they both asked to play. Fast forward a few years and Dylan is now competing for Phoenix Rush. He hopes to one day play soccer in college to further his education and eventually would love to play professionally in the USL or MLS.


Dylan also has hopes for his nonprofit: “My goal for Keepers Care for Kids is that someday I can provide scholarships to some of the children whose lives were impacted, so they can go to college and pay it forward.”


Keepers Care for Kids is currently doing a fundraiser ‘Clean Sheets Against Cancer’ and ‘Rush Goes Gold’, to raise awareness and money for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund during the month of September. Professional Goalkeepers, Zac Lubin, Cody Laurendi, Alex Mangels, Dallas Jaye, and Aubrey Bledsoe are all taking part in these fundraisers.


The Rush Family can take part by finding Keepers Care for Kids on Facebook or Twitter @KeepersCare, or on Instagram @Keepers_Care.  There you can find a link to the donation page for ‘Clean Sheets Against Cancer’. 


“I also do numerous toy drives throughout the year,” Dylan explains, “so if you follow my journey on social media you will get updates of what I am doing.” 


“I want to say thank you to all the people that have helped me get to this point in my journey and know I don’t take it for granted.” Dylan recognizes the help that has some along the way by finishing with, “I couldn’t have done this on my own.”


Rush Soccer is proud to see young players like Dylan taking their game off the field to impact their local communities in positive ways! 


P.O. Box 489 
Bowie, Maryland 20718

Phone: 301-892-1757
Email: [email protected]


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