United by Hope

The Penya Celtic Submari of Vila-real, with some 600 members, is a . Since its foundation in 2004, its philosophy has been to see football as a way to unite and fraternize with all the football fans. In fact, its motto is:

“90 minutes of rivalry. A lifetime of friendship.”

Its activities go much further than than the football world, as it devotes much of its time and effort supporting charitable causes, especially raising money to help children with cancer and their families. During its 10 years of existence, the Penya Cletic Submari has managed to raise a total of more than 50,000 euros for various NGOs and charitable organisations.

Project: “United by Hope.”

This year, which is its10th anniversary, the Penya, with the collaboration of Villarreal FC and the participation of L’Ajuntament de Vila-real, accept the challenge proposed by ASPANION ( Assocation of Parents of Children …..) to promote and finance research into overcoming sterility in boys with cancer, a condition which can be brought about by cancer treatment, and to give them the hope of being parents in the future. We also share this hope:

The project will be carried out by the Unidad de Oncología Pediátrica del Hospital la Fe from Valencia, supervised by doctor Amparo Verdeguer, head of the department, and completed by the doctors and reseachers Mara Andrés and Sofía García. Its scientific name is:

Programme for preserving the fertitilty of boys with cancer.

Some of the treatments which are used to combat cancer in paediatrics, although they cure the patients of cancer, can cause secondary effects in the future, including the inability to have children. This is due to the radiotherapy and chemotherapy given to specific mother cells in the testicles.

The inability to have children can greatly affect the quality of life of the cancer survivors and until now the possibility of avoiding this secondary effect has been very limited.

Male adults have the option of freezing semen before starting the said treatments, but boys who have not yet entered puberty do not have this alternative as they are unable to produce mature sperm which can be preserved. The Project proposes to establish a ground-breaking programme in Spain which preserves the fertility of these patients.

The basis of this programme consists of keeping/freezing part of the testicular tissue of these children (which contains immature reproductive cells) before beginning treatment which could damage these cells. The objective is that if the patient has difficulties having children in the future, they can carry out an operation where they reinsert the tissue into the patient’s testicles. Once inserted, they can re-initiate the maturation of the reproductive cells so that the individual produces fertile sperm.

The support of Villarreal FC

This ambitious project counts on the invaluable collaboration and participation of the Villarreal FC which, from the beginning, has fully involved itself in working towards this worthwhile goal.

In this way, the yellow army has not hesitated in putting all the means and personnel (first division players included) of the club at the disposition of this iniative.

In fact, in order to reach the necessary target which lies around 150,000 euros, the team of Villarreal FC has promised to play a friendly match against a rival team at the start of next season, on one of the FIFA days. Without doubt, this will be the main event of the campaign.

The takings from the match will go towards financing the research project which hopes to overcome the trauma of sterility in young male patients with cancer and their families by transforming it into the hope of fatherhood.

In this way the yellow army returns to show their commitment to society, generously placing all their means and resources, from the first team to the football stadium and all their employees, at the disposal of this initiative.

The commitment and personal involvement of the President, Fernando Roig Alfonso, the Vice-president, José Manuel Llaneza, and the representative adviser, Fernando Roig Negueroles, should be noted.

A year of solidarity

In order to further publicize this project and to get fans looking towards the main event, the friendly match being held in the Madrigal, the Penya Celtic Submari has begun a campaign to promote the project and to start raising money.

They have put the proceeds taken from the Christmas lottery and various events which they have already held (noted below) towards the Project Units per l’Esperança:

  • A charity race held on the Day of Peace in the school Concepción Arenal

  • Three rock concerts

  • A storyteller for children aged 4 to 11

  • A presentation on the beer Grogueta

  • III Campus Solidario, organised by Technifutesport

  • Solidary Kilometre in Barcelona Marathon organised by “Club Runner”

  • Batucadas gathering

  • Fund raising at CP Angelina Abad

  • A 5.8 KM Couples Race

  • End–of-season dinner for all the Villarreal CF supporters.

  • Celtic Supporters Clubs Meeting. From 3rd to 7th of September

We are also working on other activities that will be anounced as soon as they are planned.

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