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 in Quincy places children facing serious or chronic illnesses onto local college sports teams. They don't play the sport, but in every other sense they're team members.
14-year-old Lindsey Franco is leading the cheer. If you ask, she’ll tell you Team IMPACT has changed her life.
“I get to be on a team and I get to be able to participate,” Lindsey said.
“Is that something that means a lot to you maybe because you’ve had to battle an illness?” asked Small.
“Yes,” Lindsey replied.
Lindsey has the rare genetic disorder “Williams Syndrome”.
Team IMPACT has paired her with Framingham State University's softball team. She's at all the games, practices, and activities on and off the field and the student athletes have become her best friends.
“They just are so amazing,” Lindsey commented.
Since being drafted onto the team, she’s discovered a newfound sense of belonging.
“It's amazing. Yes, everybody should belong,” Lindsey said.
Parents David and Sue Franco say they've seen a change in their daughter.
“Maybe there is a new confidence. She has, you know, a lot of things to look forward to,” stated David.
“Her teachers at school think that she has a new confidence this year. And it’s just, I feel like she just has this something extra that, you know, not everyone else gets to do. That she’s got something that’s special and it’s for her and she absolutely loves it. It is indescribable how much she loves this program, this team, the whole deal with, um, just connecting with these gals, doing softball, the cheering, she just, it’s amazing…she just loves it,” Sue concluded.
WBZ NewsRadio1030's Shari Small Reports