I had never heard of Team Impact until the summer of 2016. It was then that I learned my daughter’s new lacrosse team had a young girl named Allie on it. Allie is a young girl with severe medical issues who was “recruited” to be a member of the Randolph-Macon Women’s Lacrosse team through Team Impact.
Team Impact “improves the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses through the power of team.” To do this, Team Impact matches children and college teams. The child is “recruited” to join the college team. They go through a signing day and become part of the team.
Over the last year, I have watched this young, courageous child join her team at home games. I have watched her cheer and bring true joy to the hearts of everyone one of her teammates. And please don’t misunderstand me. She is their teammate. They spend time together on and off the field.
But it was a recent post from Allie’s mother that made me cry and proves how important Team Impact is and just how great sports can really be.
From that letter:
Never once has Allie’s team pushed her to do something she was uncomfortable with, but without saying a word they are the driving force behind Allie pushing herself. Through therapies and surgeries I have watched Allie push herself harder that she ever has before.
“I do it for my team. You tell my team I do it.” These are words Allie speaks daily now.
Despite pain so great it would bring an adult to tears. Allie pushed through, for her team. Learning to re walk after surgery so she could get back on the field, with her team. Physical therapy and falling a dozen times an hour trying to learn to squat with her lacrosse stick, for her team. Trying to sit up after 16 hours in an operating room undergoing major abdominal surgery just to be up, with her team. Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Feeding Therapy, doctors visit after doctors visit. They all came right back to something she could do or have to be with her team.
Read the whole letter. I dare you not to cry. And then go make a contribution to Team Impact.