Last weekend, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson held his first annual Speed Camp at Penn Charter High School with all proceeds benefiting Pancreatic Cancer research. Bill Jackson, DeSean's father, passed away from the disease in May 2009 after being diagnosed during the Eagles' playoff run months before.
Along with his camp, Jackson hosted an inaugural gala to help officially launch "The DeSean Jackson Foundation For Pancreatic Cancer." He's urging fans to spread the word about pancreatic cancer to help others catch this silent killer before it's too late.
Fans can learn more about pancreatic cancer and The DeSean Jackson Foundation For Pancreatic Cancer at Foundation10.com. Remember, tell 10 friends, donate $10, and spend 10 minutes to learn more about the disease through the site.
While Rosenhaus is the main man for what Jackson does on the field, his marketing representative, Torrey Pocock, is one of his main guys off the field.
Pocock has worked with Jackson for almost two years, managing his website, merchandise, social media, and fundraising. He consults in social media with Colonial Downs and The Virginia Racing Commission and is an executive in advertising, media training, and marketing at Torrey Charles and Willner out of Washington D.C.
Torrey was kind enough to make the trip up from D.C. to support DeSean's cause and played a major role with organizing the events from the weekend.
After a quick introduction and a two-lap jog round the field, Jackson led the campers with stretching exercises before beginning their first set of drills for the day.
The purpose of Jackson's camp was to teach new ways of improving speed to be used on the football field.
Jackson set up different stations for the campers to perform drills, including the speed ladder to improve agility. Each station contained friends and former coaches to assist the kids with the drills as if they were part of a professional minicamp.
When word got out about Jackson hosting his Speed Camp to raise money for pancreatic cancer, local organizations wanted to get involved and join the fight.
Numerous organizations within the Philadelphia area, including Nike and Best Buy, were generous enough to help sponsor the event and the camp wouldn't have been as successful without them. DeSean was certainly thankful for all the organizations that were willing to take the time and contribute.
While the purpose of the camp was to teach the kids speed, Jackson took some time to address to answer questions and provide advice to those in attendance.
The kids asked a variety of questions ranging from his fastest 40-yard dash time (4.28) and the toughest defender he's had to face. However, it was Jackson's personal advice about life that was the most valuable.
Jackson explained to the campers the importance of hard work and how nothing in life is just handed to you. He also informed them that no football dream is capable without working hard for a proper education.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin showed up to support his fellow teammate by working at the Speed Camp Saturday. They may have been teammates for just one season, but he and Jackson already contain that special relationship, both on and off the field.
Maclin knew the importance of Jackson's camp and wanted to help out as much as possible. He assisted with drills and even took a few minutes to address the campers during DeSean's Q & A session.
Jackson's agent Drew Rosenhaus took the time to come out and support his client for a good cause.
"It's great to see DeSean give back to community, Rosenhaus said in an interview with Philly.com. "He's very committed to his foundation and his father by helping young people. I just wanted to come out and show my support."
Along with his mother Gayle and brother Byron, DeSean received some help with the events from this weekend from a number of other people who have played a major role in his life.
Many of Jackson's family, friends, and old coaches took the time to fly in from California and support his fight against pancreatic cancer by assisting with the camp. They've helped DeSean get to where he is and hoped to do the same with the campers.
Maclin was kind enough to take some time and chat with me for a few minutes about Jackson's foundation and the upcoming 2010 season.
“It’s part of being teammates,” Maclin said about assisting with the camp. “It’s about maintaining that important relationship with one another–both on and off the field.”
As far as the upcoming season, Maclin discussed his excitement for the upcoming season. The two young wide receivers have a lot in common and realize how much they can learn from each other to find success on the football field.