What Is Victory Day?
Victory Day in Trenton is an event set up for cognitively and physically impaired children to have an opportunity to play football or cheer and have their "moment in the sun."
Each child will be partnered up with a Trenton football player or Trenton cheerleader who will serve as their mentor for the day. They will wear a Victory Day jersey or hold cheer pom poms and line up on the 50 yard line with their mentor. The national anthem will then be played by the Trenton High School Marching Band. After, our PA announcer will introduce each child as they run through a tunnel formed by the band into the end zone. Parents will be seated in the end zone to take pictures as they run through the tunnel. There will be a mock coin toss before the game.
A mock defense will be set up by our varsity football team. Each child will have an opportunity to run or catch a pass for a touchdown with play-by-play announcing. After the game, each child will be presented with a medal to commemorate their victory. The Trenton Touchdown Club will serve hot dogs and drinks for the families after the event. Carroll's Photography will also be available to take pictures of the event for each child. Families are also invited to attend the Trenton High School Football game on Friday, September 14 at 7pm.
How Did It Get Started?
Victory Day was started in 2010 by Trenton (Michigan) teacher and varsity football defensive coordinator Aaron Segedi. Aaron, a native of Riverview, Michigan was diagnosed with cancer in 2005, which was brought on by a rare condition known as primary sclerosing cholangitis. After chemo and radiation therapy, the cancer was beaten, but the liver was destroyed. Segedi was placed on a list for a cadaver liver, which was necessary for his survival. He was told he would wait close to 2 years for a cadaver liver, a time frame which could have proven fatal. In order to save his life, Aaron's sister Rhonda passed the extensive testing at The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and graciously donated 70% of her liver to Aaron, a procedure which proved successful. In 2009, Aaron was diagnosed with Post-Transplant Lymphoproliferative Disorder, and was required to endure another round of radiation therapy. Scheduled for six sessions, Aaron miraculously beat the cancer after only three, although he had to finish all six. During the fall of 2013, Aaron was diagnosed with cancer for the third time. This time, a rare tumor the size of a golf ball found discovered in his left forearm. One in a million are diagnosed with this type of tumor called, Synovial Sarcoma. This young teacher and coach was infused with chemotherapy six more times and received 30 radiation treatments. Inspired by his sister’s selflessness, Aaron has made a deal with the greatest coach of all, the one he calls God. He promised Him, that if he lived, he would make our community and the world we all live in a brighter place. And that is exactly how Victory Day came to be.
As a football coach, Aaron lives by the philosophy that building character holds equal importance to teaching Xs and Os, if not more. He has recently developed a character manual that is used as a teaching tool for varsity football players at Trenton High School. The manual requires players to self-reflect and study various virtues with the intent of helping them develop into men of character. One of the virtues is selflessness. This particular unit encouraged Aaron to teach the players the importance of servant leadership. Victory Day was developed as a vehicle to teach this virtue, as well as a way to give back to the community.
What started out as an idea filled with uncertainty has since developed into a rapidly growing phenomenon that has achieved national press. Segedi and Victory Day were covered by the Huffington Post. Aaron had the opportunity to present at a sports leadership conference in Cincinnati, and the program has already been adopted by various schools in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota and New Jersey. Russell Athletic has signed on to sponsor Trenton's Victory Day. Many universities have adopted the Victory Day program including Eastern Michigan and University of Toledo.
Aaron lives in Trenton, Michigan with his wife Andrea and his daughters Alayna and Annika. Whatever suit he is wearing, father, husband, son, brother, teacher, coach, or friend, Aaron exudes an infectious passion for life that serves as an inspiration to all.
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