Rady Children’s Hospital patient-designed San Diego Loyal Scarf on sale now

Xavier Alvarez and SD Loyal Team Manager and Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Landon Donovan.

Xavier Alvarez and SD Loyal Team Manager and Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Landon Donovan.
(Ben Nichols, San Diego Loyal Soccer Club

In collaboration with Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego Loyal Soccer Club recently unveiled its first-ever SD Loyal x Rady Children’s Hospital Scarf designed by 10-year-old cancer survivor Xavier Alvarez, a patient at Rady Children’s Hospital. Xavier’s design was selected among dozens of entries from patients at one of the nation’s top pediatric health care systems.

One-hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit Rady Children’s Hospital. The exclusive “Life is tough, but so am I!” scarf is available online now for $30 at theshop.sdloyal.com and in-person at The Shop at SD Loyal in Mission Valley.

“Our partnership with Rady Children’s Hospital continues to provide special moments for patients and our club alike,” said Vice President of Community Relations Shannon Mac Millan. “Xavier’s story is not only heartwarming but inspirational. While we strive to positively impact the community every day, there are moments like these where the community impacts us.”

While vacationing in San Diego, the Alvarez family had to make an unexpected hospital visit when Xavier began vomiting and experiencing abdominal pain. Xavier was immediately admitted into the care of Rady Children’s Hospital, where it was confirmed that he had pancreatitis and a gallstone in his gallbladder. Discharged 11 days later, Xavier rang the hallway bell, a declaration of being cancer free.

“The doctors at Rady Children’s Hospital were amazing,” said Elizabeth Alvarez, Xavier’s mother. “They heard me. I told them everything that happened the first time he was hospitalized. They looked at his history. It wasn’t just one doctor, it was a lot of dedicated doctors and specialists who came in. Because of all the dedication they have at Rady Children’s Hospital, I think that helped tremendously that Xavier was able to get discharged in two weeks”.

Xavier Alvarez’s scarf design.
Xavier Alvarez’s scarf design.
(Ben Nichols, San Diego Loyal Soccer Club)

During his second week of treatment, Xavier was asked to participate in the SD Loyal x Rady Children’s Hospital Scarf design contest. On the mend and feeling better, Xavier took on the artistic challenge and designed his scarf with what he was missing most about his family’s planned San Diego vacation, the beach.

“I love to go to the beach and play in the sand,” said Xavier. “Go swimming with my brother and sisters. Catch those big waves of the ocean. I just like to express what I see or what I usually do at the beach. And I’ve always enjoyed playing soccer because whether I won or lost, I would always be proud of myself knowing that I tried my best. So I was happy to find out SD Loyal was a soccer team, so I went ahead and drew the sun as a soccer ball to go with the beach design.”

On the backside of the scarf, Xavier penned in, “Life is tough, but so am I!”. The quote was first brought to his attention while he was receiving treatment after his initial diagnosis of acute lymphocytic leukemia in February 2020, just days before his 8th birthday. “It really explains what life throws at you,” said Xavier. “Life can throw a bunch of stuff at you, but with a little hope and love, you can always overcome it.” — San Diego Loyal Soccer Club news release