Athletes support a brother: Matt's Memo

Luke Cain.

The numbers are growing. The desire to help is intense. The patience to know it will take time is apparent. The Syracuse University football and athletic community is pulling together from a point eminating from the corner of Warren and Jefferson Streets in downtown Syracuse stretching out across the country. That intersection is the corner office for former prep All-American out of Washington DC. Luke Cain. That's where this college educated, former star football player begs and accepts change and bills from whoever passes by.

Those who are getting to know Luke for the first time and others who are becoming reacquainted have learned about his mental health challenges. They've learned about his head injury while playing football. They've learned about his extraordinarily difficult family life growing up that left him few places to turn in recent years.

This growing circle of Luke Cain supporters is being led by Jim Jerome and Derrell Smith. Two men from different football generations. One from the cold decaying concrete and torn up sod of Archbold Stadium in the mid-1970's. The other played under the insulated teflon of the Carrier Dome with FieldTurf under his cleats. Both men share the bond of Orange and of humanity. They see a fellow man in trouble and want to help.

The rush of the emotional hours following the posting and airing of reporter Jim Kenyon's initial story have passed. Patience and careful steps are now required. Luke Cain is not in a position to accept thousands of dollars in donations. He has not in a place to secure an abundance of donations of clothing. He is not yet ready to endure a barrage of physical and mental testing. But, his spirits are lifting.

The greatest gift for Luke Cain right now is words of kindness and support. Cards and notes don't reach his version of the corner office. But, they will find him at the address below:

Luke Cain Oxford Inn 201 Oxford St. Syracuse NY 13202

With Christmas just days away now, isn't this the season to send a card?

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