On December 15th, the Brandeis University volleyball team partnered with Team IMPACT to sign 10-year-old Niamh Gagnon of Scituate, Massachusetts. Niamh was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2008.
Brandeis volleyball marks the seventh program at Brandeis to have partnered with Team IMPACT over the past decade. Currently, Brandeis men's and women's soccer have also made matches with local children who face life-threatening diseases.
"Niamh has been a ray of sunshine for our team. Her positive energy has been contagious and I am sure it will be an amazing experience, both for Niamh and for our team," said head coach Alescia Vaccari. "Brandeis volleyball has been working with Team IMPACT for several years now, and we were thrilled when we learned that they had made a match."
Team IMPACT is a national nonprofit headquartered in Boston, MA that connects children facing serious or chronic illnesses with college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes. Since 2011, Team IMPACT has matched nearly 1,600 children with more than 500 colleges and universities in 48 states, reaching over 50,000 participating student-athletes. The child joins the athletic team and the student-athletes join the child's support team. Throughout the journey, the child gains strength, camaraderie and support while the student-athletes experience lessons of courage, resiliency and perspective they can't learn in a classroom.