FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Revolution midfielder Zak Boggs was named the 2011 MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Year today for his volunteer cancer research at Children’s Hospital Boston. His work in Dr. Marsha Moses’ research laboratory has the potential to change the lives of millions of people and eradicate one of society’s greatest ills.
Each week, Boggs goes into Boston to help Moses and her staff research potential cancer diagnostics and prognostics. Specifically, he is helping to attempt to find proteins in the body that would more clearly identify someone who has cancer from someone who does not. Not only has Boggs been a fixture in Moses’ lab since 2010 – when a concussion sidelined him for the entire second half of the MLS season – but Boggs has also been a regular visitor to patients at Children’s Hospital through the team’s monthly visits.
“As an organization, we’re very proud of Zak’s efforts and contributions toward finding a cure for cancer,” New England Revolution President Brian Bilello said. “Many athletes make wonderful contributions to the community through established charitable programs or through their own fundraising, but very few – if any – make such a unique and selfless contribution in the manner in which Zak does through his work at Children’s Hospital Boston.”
“I was happy to have Zak volunteer in my laboratory, where he worked on a number of different research projects, including one that’s focused on the development of non-invasive diagnostic tests for the early detection of human cancers,” said Dr. Moses.
“Zak is a unique individual who, although dedicated to his athletic career, remains equally committed to a career in medical research. It is impossible not to admire someone so ambitious and diligent. Despite his demanding soccer schedule, Zak would find a way to regularly make the 45-minute commute into Boston to work with us in the lab. Zak is an extremely well-rounded, multi-talented and grounded individual. It was a pleasure to have him with us,” continued Moses, who is the Andrus Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, the Director of the Vascular Biology Program at Children’s Hospital Boston and directs a cancer research laboratory there, as well.
The MLS W.O.R.K.S Humanitarian of the Year is determined through league-wide voting of players, media and executive staff, and honors an MLS player who showed outstanding dedication to charitable efforts and serving the community during the season.
Boggs is the Revolution’s second humanitarian of the year award winner as former defender Michael Parkhurst (2005-08) was the 2006 award winner for his cumulative work in his native New England community.
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