Quincy, Mass. - September 15, 2016 - Team IMPACT is proud to announce their 1000th match in program history, Zachary, drafted to Springfield College's men's gymnastics team.
Founded in 2011, the organization's mission is to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses through the power of team. Team IMPACT matches courageous children with local college athletic teams who draft the child onto the team, making them official members of the team from Draft Day through to Graduation. The child joins the athletic team and the student athletes join the child's support team.
"Our 1,000th match not only shows how far Team IMPACT has come in five years, it signifies how far we can go," says Team IMPACT Executive Director Seth Rosenzweig. "As a growing organization, we are poised to reach more children, families and student athletes in every state across the country, —positively impacting their lives."
This significant milestone was made possible by the match with the Springfield College men's gymnastics team and eight year-old Zachary. This is the fifth match overall for the Pride, who currently have matches on the football, baseball, women's volleyball, and women's basketball teams.
"What a milestone moment for Team IMPACT and the countless lives that these partnerships have touched," said Springfield College Director of Athletics, Dr. Craig Poisson." "What Team IMPACT represents mirrors our mission of Springfield College, as we educate the whole person—in spirit, mind, and body—for leadership in service to others. I couldn't be prouder of our student-athletes and their involvement with such a powerful organization."
After suffering an anoxic event at birth, where he received no oxygen, Zachary stayed in the NICU for about five weeks, suffering from seizures and pneumonia. Doctors told Zachary's family that he would not survive and they ultimately withdrew life support. For the first time, Zachary demonstrated his fighting spirit and he survived. While Zachary is legally blind, eats with the help of a feeding tube, is non-verbal and uses a wheel chair, he does not let these challenges stop him from being a happy, social kid. Zachary loves to spend time with his family, swim in the pool, and his favorite athletes are Tom Brady and Russell Wilson. He also loves music and bright colors.
Team IMPACT currently works with over 430 colleges and universities throughout the country in 45 states. There are 90 NCAA Conferences that are represented in the program. In addition, Division I, II, and III all have a conference that has full participation from its member schools: The Ivy League, The Northeast-10, and the NESCAC. Overall, there are 25,000 student-athletes that have felt the impact of being matched with one of these brave children. These 1,000 matches have created unparalleled connections between the children, families, and athletic teams. Team IMPACT is inspired to continue to work towards creating an environment where courageous children can find hope through their illnesses and student-athletes serve their community and support each member of a team through any adversity.
"This milestone represents the dedication of our staff, the commitment of our teams, and the life-changing effect Team IMPACT has on the children and families we serve," says Rosenzweig.