BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Each month, “WBZ Cares” highlights a worthy non-profit organization and tells the story of what that organization does for the community. This month WBZ is profiling Team IMPACT, a national nonprofit that connects children facing serious and chronic illnesses with local college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes.
Team IMPACT Director of Programs Amy VanRyn comments, “In season, it’s a lot of games, and practices, the child being able to get involved with what the team is doing, but at other times it's going bowling, or attending the child's recitals, or just coming over and playing video games. It's really on the social-emotional piece that we feel like our intervention can really help.”
14-year-old Lindsey has the rare genetic disorder, “Williams Syndrome”, which causes developmental delays. Team IMPACT paired her with Framingham State University's women's softball team.
“I felt like my life changed. Like after the day I met them I felt like something changed,” Lindsey stated.
Lindsey can be found in the dugout cheering on players at games and practice, and off the field, Lindsey says, “We do a lot of stuff. I made senior posters for the last couple times I've been with them and we did bowling the day before my birthday. We had so much fun. I could do it again.”
But softball player Kirsten says for her and her teammates, it's Lindsey who's changed their lives.
“She just teaches me to like, love life a little bit more, you know what I mean, like, when I see her my bad days immediately turn like, better. When I text her, like, she immediately like makes me happier in some way. I don't know how she does it, but she does,” Kirsten said.
Team IMPACT, enhancing the child's quality of life through relationships while teaching student athletes compassion and other life-lessons they can't learn in a classroom.
WBZ NewsRadio1030's Shari Small Reports