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A Tribute

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

By Jim Law
SJSports Staff Writer

Lacrosse. What a great sport. Fun, fast, and action packed. Are you wearing the right equipment? If not, do so.

With the school craze of wearing wrist bracelets I thought it was just a silly thing to do. First I wore my yellow one for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Now, this was not a silly gesture, my mom died of cancer so thought this would be a tribute to her. I really felt good about that.

I now wear a blue one. This is a very special one to my family and me. Again, it is a tribute to someone. This someone happens to be my cousin, Louis Acompora. He was a 15 year old from Long Island. Louis was a goalie on the Northport High School freshman team. On opening day, March 25, 2000, Louis suited up just as he was supposed to. The ball came at him, hit him in the chest and he dropped to the ground. Louis died. The ball hit him between heartbeats. They were unable to bring him back to life.

There is a term for this condition, Commotio Cordis. Could Louis have been saved? No one will know. But they do know a defibrillator at the field might have saved him.

Louis' Mom, Dad and sister have led a relentless campaign in New York State to make defibrillators mandatory in public buildings. They have been successful. Louis has not died in vain. There are survivors of this condition due to the newly enforced defibrillator laws in New York.

The family has been on television with Oprah, Jon Edwards and local Long Island shows. They have formed a foundation for research in this condition. The web site is most informative. If you get a chance, visit it.

So you see, my blue bracelet is most important to me. All in my family have one. The funds raised from these go directly into the foundation. Make your children safe and enjoy them every day.

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Jim Law is a South Jersey soccer referee with over 21 years of USSF, high school, and indoor experience.

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