The Mountain Times

°F Sun, April 20, 2014

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Team IMPACT drafts two young girls to GMC softball

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Brookelyn Kimball (age 7) and Shannon Watson (age 6) from Proctor, Vt. sign their letters of intent after being drafted onto the Green Mountain College Softball Team.

Cousins, Brookelyn Kimball (age 7) and Shannon Watson (age 6) from Proctor, Vt. were both drafted onto the Green Mountain College Softball Team on Thursday, Jan. 17. This was made possible through Team IMPACT, a non-profit chartered to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening illnesses. This program creates unparalleled team based support systems. Core to the model is harnessing the power of teamwork by matching these courageous kids with college athletic teams. Team IMPACT children are drafted onto local college athletic teams and become an official member of the team for the duration of their treatment and beyond.

Brookelyn was diagnosed at age 4 with Juvenile Dermatomyositis and Shannon was diagnosed at 7 months with Cystic Fibrosis.
On Jan. 17, the girls enjoyed a pizza party with the team and their family and then had a draft ceremony where they signed their letters of intent. They were then presented with team uniforms and bags.

"It was a great evening for all involved and is providing both girls with a wonderful experience that does not involve their many trips to the hospital," said Brooke Kimball, Brookelyn's mom and Shannon's aunt.

Brookelyn said she "hated having her disease but she was happy that it got her to meet Casey and the team." Brookelyn and Shannon will both be part of the team as long as they wish and are welcome to sit in the dugout at games, come to practices, and have even been invited to join the team for Spring Training!