There is no better way to illustrate the power and impact of the program than to read a few of the many letters we receive from the mothers of these courageous kids. Below are a handful of letters and emails from mothers and fathers that we receive each month showcasing the impact of the relationships formed between children and their teams.
My wife and I wanted to thank you and Team Impact for setting us up with this baseball team. There are truly no words to say how grateful we are for this.
What an incredible experience our son had being a team member this season. He not only had 38 teammates but 38 friends and big brothers. We went to every home game except for the few that they played during the week and we even traveled to PA and met the team there for a weekend of baseball.
That weekend they wore there green jerseys which our son has and they swept the weekend series, they guys were having a blast saying that he was their good luck charm that they even wore the green jersey for a night game which we went to that they won as well. The following day they had a game that he could not attend and they took his jersey and hung it in the dugout so that he was there in spirit.
In Scranton, our son hung out with the team for dinner and breakfast and the guys made it all about him.... even the assistant coaches were thrilled that he was with them. We always came early so he could see batting practice and when we arrived the guys were all excited to see him. Not only were his teammates excited to see him the parents of his teammates were excited to see him.
Yesterday was there last home game of the year, it was a bittersweet day as we said goodbye to the seniors. We asked Coach if we could take home is locker room plaque and of course he said yes but that he would need it back for next season. So we let the team hold on to it for next year. He was so excited that they want him to come back next year.
Each game the parents of the team members would tell how us that the guys were saying how much our son brought to the team, we are saying it the other way in how much the team gave to our son. After the game yesterday some of the guys on the team who grew close to him asked us if we could bring him to school one night before they leave for summer break or graduate so that they as a team can hang out and eat pizza, play video games and just chill.
As we said goodbye to Coach yesterday we all got teary eyed as we hugged each other. Coach told our son that they will stay in touch with each other during the summer. He might be having heart surgery this summer and the guys were telling us that we need to keep them informed and that they will come and visit him or when he gets home they will come and hang out. So from the bottom of our hearts we again want to thank you, Team Impact, Coach, and the entire baseball team.
Hi Team IMPACT!
Our relationship with the team has been nothing short of outstanding. They have demonstrated a truly class-act in welcoming our family to the team--we couldn't be more proud to be alumni and parents both!
The whole family has been attending practices and games. We arrive early to help warm up the team, shag balls, and perform the all important task of turning on the lights in the stadium--a highlight! They bigger boys sit on the bench with the team during the game and sometimes head to the locker room with the team at halftime. The team invited us to their annual soccer banquet (which was wonderful), and had sent out the video of his draft day beforehand to the whole soccer community. When we got there everyone knew his story and there were many people approaching us, congratulating him, wishing him well, and offering any help we need along the way.
There were many unexpected gifts for him that day, but the biggest surprise of all is that the coach gave a very lengthy speech about the rookie of the year award, then named himas recipient (reducing me to tears!). While he receives most of the attention, his brother (13 months younger) is also thrilled to be able to participate...sports are huge at our house, but his brother is the one who eats, sleeps, and breathes ESPN. Even when his physical limitations prevent him from "warming up" the team, there is still a place for his brother to slide in and shine, and we are very thankful for that.
The team has been overwhelmingly (in a good way) welcoming, and we are looking forward to growing this relationship! It's fun to see the players start to interact with our kids a little more with each event. A thousand thanks to you and Team Impact for making this possible. It's so nice to have other things to talk about with people besides cancer, and it's so fun to have so much to look forward to!
I am the mom of a most amazing six year old, who has recently been "drafted" as a softball player.
The experience we are currently having with the folks of this college is unparalleled to anything imaginable. I accepted long ago that I would never be a sports mom because my daughter in unable to play sports due to her disabilities - well the organization Team IMPACT and this school has changed that all... My daughter is so very proud to say she is part of a team and that to me is a most precious gift in itself. And I, too proudly have a new title...I AM a "softball mom"!
Our dream is to some day be able to thank all folks involved with the overwhelming experiences that my daughter has been gifted with. We continue to pay it forward in every way possible, that too builds memories for us - of which I am sure you can imagine we hold dear to our hearts.
Hi Team IMPACT,
Just a quick note to tell you how excited we have been to become part of the baseball team and having the opportunity to be involved with such an amazing group of young men and their coaching staff. My son has been feeling the effects of his chemo a bit more but wants to be a loyal team member and not let them down. The team got together and had a meet and greet for him followed by an official induction ceremony. He had to sign a baseball contract ensuring he understood and will follow the team rules which include keeping a positive attitude and helping to amp the team up. My husband and I could not be more impressed by the welcome and attention he and we have received from this truly wonderful team. We look forward to a great season and exciting adventure…GO TEAM!
Dear Coach & Team IMPACT,
It is difficult to express how impressed with and deeply touched by everyone, we are truly speechless... especially the level of compassion and acceptance shown by you, your staff and athletes toward our family. In December of 2009, we were told by doctors at Children's Hospital to "take your son home and love him, he won't see his second birthday" due to the severity of his illness. Today, however, through research and advances, we have great hope - his fourth birthday is quickly approaching in April and it will not be his last. "His quality of life will be minimal at best", they said, yet as you witnessed him yesterday, he is a true warrior and beats all odds every single day of his life.
He can now hold his head up on his own, a small task to most healthy individuals, this is a miracle for him. For countless reasons, he inspires us on a daily basis and it is our hope that someday he will inspire all of our teammates. Although he may never walk, never eat a meal, or have the strength to bathe himself, he just fights to be a part of life and all the great people we met yesterday helped to fulfill a dream in one brief afternoon.
He is such a happy kid we tend not to dwell on what he can't do but focus on what he can become a part of.... Such as a collegiate sports team. We can hardly wait to see this relationship grow, flourish and develop for all involved. My older son, on occasion often feels left out because of the amount of attention that is given to his brother from medical professionals, caring neighbors, educators and providers (to name a few), so we thank you on his behalf. Guys like #33 went out of their way to engage my older son and we could see a sense of amazement in his eyes, a warm feeling that only a parent can recognize.
Upon our departure, my eldest asked if we could return almost immediately to be with the team and my young son's clever response was, "we have to, we are part of the team". Therefore, I say to you, Coach, a very humble gesture on you and your team's behalf, yet to my family it means the world, if not more.
To say we look forward to seeing you in the near future is an understatement. We'll be there to let the magic continue to grow.
Thanks to your efforts, my son has found a team of 20 big brothers.
It brings me to tears when I see his smile and excitement every time he enters the rink.
You did this for him. You gave him this joy. For that, we will be forever grateful.
Dear Team IMPACT,
I just wanted to thank you is very much for matching my son up with his team. The players and coaches have all been amazing!! Since being drafted, the team has embraced our entire family and we have yet to miss a home game. Not only do my son, husband and I attend, but our two older sons, their significant others, and our granddaughter are at every game cheering the team on.
This has been the VERY BEST EXPERIENCE. I cannot tell you how much this has meant to not only him, but for our entire family. My son is on the shy side and although wants to be social, he has had some difficulties with these skills for years due to complications from his illness, and more recently, his brain tumor.
I have not seen my son this happy in a very long time - he is actually excited about and looking forward to something. These coaches and players are the best medicine for my son and I want to thank you for allowing us to be part of such a great organization!
The guys continue to make my son feel part of team and even though he didn't feel well on Saturday night, I couldn't get him out of the arena. I can never thank you and everyone at Team IMPACT for what you have done for Tim. This relationship has done what no medicine ever could - put a smile and laughter back into a little boys face.
Dear Coach & Team IMPACT,
I wanted to thank you for letting my son be such a part of your team this weekend. He really enjoyed himself going to meals and taking the bus with the guys. After Saturday's game he was exhausted but he wasn't going to let that stop him on Sunday. I knew he was getting over tired and he did take a three hour nap on Sunday but I didn't have it in me to tell him we should go home, plus I don't think he would have forgiven me! During the weekend we met some of the really great parents who came up and introduced themselves to us. They were there to comfort him when at the end of the game he did what the rest of us felt like doing and broke down crying in my arms. As I spoke with the parents about the loss they both mentioned how pleased they were that you were teaching their kids about things other than hockey and how proud they were that you brought him onto their team. You have done an incredible job with those kids.
Due to my lack of having the heart to bring my son home early he ended up with a slight fever and I had to bring him to the Jimmy Fund on Monday. When they wanted to know what happened, he proudly told them that he over did it this weekend because he went to Maine with his hockey team. He told the doctors how he cheated the system and didn't admit to how bad he felt. He told them sometime you have to "live a little." I knew bringing him into the clinic he would just need some fluids and a round of antibiotics, which is what they did. But you always have a slight feeling in the back of your mind that what if his leukemia came back? That is why it is such a joy and comfort to me to know that my son had one of the best adventures this weekend and it is because of someone extraordinary like you who has brought him on his team of wonderful guys that has brought him such happiness.
I think we all wished with all our heart that you won Sunday night, but know that thanks to you and your team that my son is winning his battle!
Dear Coach & Team IMPACT,
Thank you so much for the most incredible 6 months. Our family has loved every single moment cheering on our team and quite honestly, we are sad that the season is over. We cannot even describe how much this whole experience has meant for our son. He has become the most confident kid on your court and at his own high school. This experience has had such positive impact on every aspect of his life. He continues to proudly wear his team gear. He just loves all of you! My daughter, who was not a sports fan at all previously, has become a huge fan of basketball, and now really understands the game. She has loved this experience as much as the rest of us. I have always been a basketball fan but have now spread my love for the game.
I am not sure where you all go from here as far as practices and all, but he is eager and ready for the next step. He can't wait to see the guys. He'd love to take part in any spring/summer games, practices, camps, etc. He is currently working on a MCAS practice essay which he entitled, My Perfect Day. It is still in the works but I know that it includes hanging with his guys for a day on campus, seeing what happens outside of the court. I'll forward it along when he has it completed. I am also working on a project for all of you as well. Hopefully it will be ready in the next week or so.
Thank you for welcoming us to your team. Thank you for the constant communication about all that was happening. Thank you Team IMPACT for making this all possible! We are proud to be part of your Basketball family!
I just can't begin to thank you, Team IMPACT and the entire hockey team for all you guys have done for my son. The team and coaches are AMAZING- I am at a loss for words. PLEASE know how much of a positive IMPACT your organization has had on our family. Just to see his face light up when he gets a call from coach or one of the guys- it lifts his spirits and goes right to my heart! THANK YOU!!!
Just wanted to send you a quick update on Tim. He is having a blast! The team has been so good to him. He enjoys all the home games and even went to two practices during February vacation ( he preferred doing that vs. going to our cottage in NH - a first!) Mike Collins came out to dinner with us after practice last week and Tim was thrilled.
Hi Team IMPACT!
Just wanted to send you a quick update on my son. He is having a blast! The team has been so good to him. He enjoys all the home games and even went to two practices during February vacation One of the players came out to dinner with us after practice last week and he was thrilled.
The main reason I am writing is that today he had one of his bigger treatments that included a lumbar puncture. Two of the players texted him while he was at the clinic with jokes and positive messages. It kept his mind off worrying about his procedure. He was in recovery texting - so funny. He also wore his team sweatshirt and hat to clinic. The kids and coach have been amazing. His recovery is so much better because he is actually happy. The guys text him every night- these guys go out of their way to be with him.
I can't thank Team IMPACT enough. Thank you for everything you guys have done!
Dear Team IMPACT,
We got a last minute call to come into Boston today as my daughter has had some major issues that presented last week. We didn't go because I had promised her she could see her team and I couldn't bring myself to switch it on her again for yet another medical appointment. It was the right thing to do. IT WAS UNBELIEVABLE! Happy, happy tears!! She came in uniform and the girls loved it. It was scrimmage day and she was fully included. She was at bat and hit, ran the bases, outfield, infield...it was incredible! Just what we both needed after a pain filled weekend. The team is going to Florida this Friday for a week filled with games, another reason it was important for us to be there today. She cried on the way home knowing that they will be leaving soon- she already has such a connection with them. We are thrilled that she part of this program.
I cannot thank you enough for making this happen!!!