Chicago Fire goalie spreads hope to cancer fighters

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Fire goalkeeper Matt Lampson meets with a young cancer patient, Ryan, who was Lampson's guest at a recent soccer game.

    Chicago Fire goalkeeper Matt Lampson meets with a young cancer patient, Ryan, who was Lampson's guest at a recent soccer game. courtesy of Chicago Fire

  • When the Chicago Fire hosted the Philadelphia Union at Toyota Park in April, goalkeeper Matt Lampson hosted a young cancer patient, Maddy, at the MLS game.

    When the Chicago Fire hosted the Philadelphia Union at Toyota Park in April, goalkeeper Matt Lampson hosted a young cancer patient, Maddy, at the MLS game. courtesy of Chicago Fire/Abel Arciniega

  • Chicago Fire goalkeeper Matt Lampson (28), here stopping the Montreal Impact rush in a game last April, makes a point to host young cancer patients at all of his team's soccer games.

    Chicago Fire goalkeeper Matt Lampson (28), here stopping the Montreal Impact rush in a game last April, makes a point to host young cancer patients at all of his team's soccer games. courtesy of Chicago Fire/Mike DiNovo, USA Today Sports

  • Goalkeeper Matt Lampson makes his presence felt on and off the field for the Chicago Fire with his foundation, which helps fight cancer.

    Goalkeeper Matt Lampson makes his presence felt on and off the field for the Chicago Fire with his foundation, which helps fight cancer. courtesy of Chicago Fire/Mike DiNovo, USA Today Sports

 
 
Updated 6/27/2016 9:41 PM

Matt Lampson is carrying out a vendetta.

The Chicago Fire goalkeeper didn't just come to town to play soccer. He's here to continue his campaign against cancer.

 

Lampson's charitable foundation, the LampStrong Foundation, is opening an online store that sells T-shirts to raise awareness and funding.

"My foundation has been growing and I'm trying to expand as much as I can in Chicago," Lampson said. "Very recently we actually put together a store. We've always had just straight donations on my site, but now you can actually get something a little bit besides just knowing you helped kids with cancer.

"I'm excited about it. Hopefully, everybody reps it out and gets nice shirts to wear from it. Any support we get is fantastic. Now hopefully as we see people wearing them around Chicago it will spread the word."

Supporters can purchase T-shirts at lampstrong.com.

The mission is personal for Lampson, 26, a survivor of Hodgkin lymphoma 4B. Lampson can talk about the biology of the disease in detail and has considered a post-soccer career in medicine.

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He plans to play too long to make a medical career practical, in part so he can keep inviting cancer patients and survivors, plus their families and friends, to games as his guests.

"I've been doing that for years," said Lampson, who spent the last four seasons with the Columbus Crew and played college soccer at Northern Illinois before transferring to Ohio State. "Once again I'm trying to do it in Chicago as well. I do it home and away games."

Lampson has played in nine of the Fire's 14 games this season, earning shutouts in three of them.

Lampson also is planning what he calls a "huge" celebrity soccer game for September as another fundraising event.

He works with longtime Fire vice president of community relations Jessica Yavitz to invite cancer patients to games, both home and away.

"Really all I want to do is help inspire them or their family and provide them with hope with what they can do after they're done with treatment," Lampson said. "It's one of my favorite things I do. It means a lot to me. Hopefully, we can continue to grow."

Follow Orrin on Twitter @Orrin_Schwarz

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