The Power of the Trojan Family


The Trojan Family may be an abstract concept, but the true weight of it is felt in times of need.  A USC alum told a powerful story on a fan forum that showed the depth of character of the Trojans involved and the incredible strength of one of our youngest family members.

Below is the original post entitled "Another side of Lane and the SC Family":

FightOn.jpgAbout 2 years ago, at 11.5 years old, my youngest daughter started having absence seizures. They are a form of epilepsy, last 30 to 60 seconds and were completely debilitating, leaving her drained and disoriented. Medications were ineffective at controlling them and after a series of tests it was determined that she was a candidate for a surgery that would remove her right temporal lobe and hopefully with it, the seizures. My daughter led the charge for the surgery as she hated being the girl taking meds and having seizures. 

Not easy to be a 14 year old girl headed for a surgery where they are going to remove a large portion of your brain. Six weeks before the surgery, she was having a rough go, often in tears, struggling with her fate. Like many young Trojan fans, she looked up to Matt Barkley as being the "perfect man".

I decided to reach out to Kiff to see if he could get Matt to sign something for my daughter to encourage her as she faced her upcoming battle. His response was immediate....YES. He asked for her cell phone number. An hour and a half later, we were eating dinner at CPK and my daughter was very teary and sad even though we were in a public place. Suddenly her phone buzzed and she looked down and got this funny look on her face, that blossomed thru the tears into a huge smile. She looked up and said incredulously, "Matt Barkley just sent me a video". The video was a close up of Matt speaking very directly to my daughter and encouraging her to "fight on...truly fight on". I have always loved Matt, but this put him permanently into the stratosphere for me. I called Kiff to thank him and he said "what else can we do?" I told him he had already done enough... my daughter was beaming, had watched the video a 100 times and was drawing strength from Matt's encouragement.

The next day she got another text... this time a video from Kiff and Marquis Lee encouraging her to fight on and be strong. The next day she got a long email from Pete Carroll about visualizing success and competing thru he process. In the course of 3 days she went from weepy to steely eyed. 

On the day of her surgery, the last thing she did as they wheeled her away was flash the fight on sign. Watching your child wheeled away into a room full of mask wearing strangers, bone saws and needles, is not something I would wish on anyone, but her courage was amazing. After an 8 hour surgery, she was admitted to the ICU. In the ICU my phone buzzed, I missed the call. An hour later I checked he message and heard Pat Haden saying he understood my daughter had just had surgery and that the whole Trojan family was pulling and praying for her. Senior AD Mark Jackson called repeatedly checking in. The next day... my phone rang again... I did not recognize the number and answered to "hi this is Matt Leinert... I hear Cailin just had surgery..." Later that evening Keyshawn called and wanted to come by later in the week to visit. A care package showed up from Johnnie Morton. Over the coming week, the messages just kept coming... Tony Boselli, Ryan Kalil, Willie McGuinest, Carson Palmer, a virtual who's who of the Trojan world. Max Nikias even posted on her caring bridge site.

We often hear talk of the Trojan family, but our family just lived it. It was an awesome and humbling thing to see in action. Best part of the story is the surgery was more seizures and not a minute of therapy needed. She was a straight A kid going in and should be a straight A Kid moving forward... albeit with a slightly smaller and healthier brain.


So PROUD to be a Trojan.

This is so true! 7 years ago I was facing cancer and b4 my surgery I went down to heritage hall to 'get some strength'. As Pete Carroll came out of his office our eyes met and immediately came toward me. He had no idea I had cancer at te time, just came over to say hi to a Trojan fan. When my friend asked him if he could autograph a picture for me and told of my upcoming surgery, he brought us into his office and just talked to me about fighting on meaning more than football, it was how we face tough struggles in life!!
We maybe facing tough times as a football program, but I know the team will 'Fight On' through it!!

This story makes me proud to be a member of the Trojan Family. It reminds me that it doesn't take much time out of my busy day to show a little kindness to another person. Fight On Cailin!

Stories like this make me proud to be a Trojan!

Fight On!

Such an amazing and uplifting story. All Trojan fans should read this, all friends of mine should read it whether you're a Trojan or not. It's impossible to NOT be moved by the spirit of the human heart, let alone the TROJAN FAMILY SPIRIT !! FIGHT ON !!!!!

Makes me so proud!

What a great, inspiring story. The USC family is phenomenal. Fight On Young Trojan!

This is an incredibly touching and powerful example of the Trojan Family. It's so nice to hear about the Trojan community coming to this young girl's aide.

I'm proud to be a Trojan and stories Ike this make me even prouder.

Fight On!

Matt Barkley will always be a very special Trojan in my heart. I am not surprised by his video, that is just Matt, it is never about him.
The rest of the guys and coaches etc. touching base and leaving messages of encouragement is totally Trojan family at it's best. I am so proud to be part of this awesome family and so happy to hear Cailin is doing so well and wish her and your family a happy and healthy future.
Fight on!!

Interesting article to know about the trojan family, quite happy to meet the good trojans :p

God bless your courageous daughter and your family. There are more of us Trojans out here praying for you; your Trojan family just got extended. Fight on!

Prayers, family & friends are very powerful! I am a STAGE 4 CANCER SURVIVOR and I am always "FIGHTING ON!" Positive attitude is everything. Thank god for human kindness.

Absolutely great!!! The guys made us proud....
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and especially the daughter.

Fight On!!!

I read this a few days ago on the SCV Trojans site. So proud to be a Trojan Alumni. Alumni have been bashing Kiffin way too much. He inherited a difficult situation. He has the heart and skill to do the job right. Give him a chance to lead the Trojan football program to victory

Great story, thanks for sharing. Fight On young lady!!!


This story endorses what I share with my 5th grade classes each year. Every year, for the last 22, I have brought my students and their families to campus for a tour and a basketball game. The last few years, I've had 150+ joining us. 4 years in a row, we had the incredible opportunity to encounter Coach Carroll. Each time, he took the time to speak to us, showed genuine interest in my kids, signed autographs, and couldn't have been more gracious. On one of those occasions, we got to meet the recruits and my kids asked for their autographs. Coach gave us the victory sign and said that they had just helped in encouraging these great players in wanting to sign with the Trojans. Another time, we got to watch the Rose Bowl scrimmage and one of the players, Adam Goodman, was an alumnus of our school. Finally, Coach had us in a video which was being made for a Trojan who was battling an illness. Trojan Spirit!

This is part of why I find it so unbelievably important to remember that we are the Trojan Family. I am diabolicly opposed to the term trojan nation. Becuase we are a family.

I have heard many stories like this over the years since I have graduated and this is a giant part of what sets us apart and makes us special.

A huge Fight On from my daughter and I and we will also be praying for your daughter.


God bless the Trojan Family. Thank you, Matt, Coach Layne, Coach Pete, Marquise, Tony, Johnny, Matty Leinart, and any, and all I failed to recognize. I have always been so proud to be a Trojan, but perhaps never so proud as I am now...

Thank you for sharing. God Bless You, your daughter, and the Trojan family! Fight On! ✌

We so excited for your family and daughter's continued health. Sadly most of the parents we deal with on a daily basis is chatting with us to get quotes on life insurance, it is so refreshing to hear from parents who are fighting hard and strong to LIVE. Thank you for sharing this Amazing story. Praying for your continued recovery.

So proud to be part of the Trojan Family!

Found this story on the Pac-12 blog. As a life-long Duck fan, it is always fun to play against, and trash-talk with the Trojans, but I am proud to see that our league has such outstanding individuals and organizations! Way to go USC! It makes me proud to be a fan in the Pac 12. Fight on!

An absolutely awesome story. And I say that as a Stanford fan!

This type of thing transcends sports, and I'm glad to hear the surgery was a success. Good for the Trojan family. Nice to hear something positive about Kiff.
Go ducks.

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