In June, the SVSU women’s soccer team lost their most avid, enthusiastic fan to a brain tumor. Trinity Barrett was an 8-year-old girl who had made the soccer team feel like a family for many years.
The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation initially connected Trinity to SVSU, but Trinity became such a beloved friend to the players that their interactions extended well beyond the program.
The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation was founded by Jaclyn Murphy, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was 9 years old. Murphy was adopted by a collegiate lacrosse team as an honorary member, and when she grew up, she started the foundation to bring the same hope to other sick children.
Trinity was more than just a fan. She came to games and practices, hung out with the players outside of SVSU and even had her own locker. Many members of the team even went to Trinity’s birthday parties. She encouraged the players with her charming personality, optimism and courage.
“Although she knew she was sick, you would not know from her smiling face,” said Kayla Trevino, a junior on the team. “She had the ability to impact more people in her short life than most people will have who live double or triple the time.”
Trevino and her fellow soccer players will not soon forget the impact Trinity had on their lives. In fact, the team made shirts honoring her that read “Play for Trin.”
“(Trinity) and her family truly showed me what it is to live your life with no regrets and like every day is your last,” Trevino said. “Their faith and their positivity impacted me beyond words.”
Head coach Michael O’Neill said Trinity had been an honorary member of the team for longer than he had been the head coach, which is a testament to her dedication and enthusiasm.
“She did not get a fair chance at life,” O’Neill said. “But her incredible personality, her courage, her ability to make others laugh, her optimism for the future is a story that needs to be told.”