A nine-year-old Marysville girl will become the newest member of the Capital University women’s basketball team on Sunday.
Mercadize Paver of Marysville will become a team member during a Team IMPACT “Draft Day” celebration at The Capital Center.
She is one of 30,000 patients in the United States living with cystic fibrosis (CF), a disease predominantly diagnosed in children by the age of two.
Team IMPACT is a national non-profit organization that connects children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses with the support system of a college sports team.
Through the Team IMPACT CF Project sponsored by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, children who have CF, like Paver, are drafted onto local college athletic teams and become an official member of the team to support the child’s physical, social and emotional needs.
By being a part of the Capital University women’s basketball program, she will attend Crusader practices, games, team dinners and other events.
Paver will sign an official letter of tntent during the ceremony and will be welcomed by the Capital University team.
Since 2011, Team IMPACT has matched more than 1,200 children with more than 450 colleges and universities in 46 states, reaching more than 35,000 participating student-athletes. The child joins the athletic team and the student-athletes join the child’s support team – from Draft Day to graduation.
During 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.
Paver’s determination to persevere through adversity has already made her an inspiration to the rest of her future Crusader teammates, according to a press release from Capital.
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