SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (August 27, 2019) – The Western New England University women's soccer team partnered with Team IMPACT to sign 12-year old Alissa Thomas of Windsor, Conn. on Monday, August 26 at the Alumni Healthful Living Center.
Alissa had the opportunity to sign an official Letter of Intent to join the women's soccer program during Monday's Draft Day ceremony. She also met the team and head coach Kristin Hensinger, posed for photos, and received a practice jersey, a game jersey, and a soccer ball signed by all members of the team.
"We are so excited to be working with Team IMPACT and to have Alissa join our team," Hensinger said. "We believe that the relationship we will be able to develop with Alissa and her family will have a lasting impact on all of our lives. The resilience that Alissa has shown in her young life so far is something that we can all learn from."
Alissa lives with her parents Melissa and Kevin and her siblings Kayla and Kevin in Windsor. She was diagnosed with leukemia in 2011 and underwent three years of treatment. Today, Alissa is working through some of the side effects from treatment.
"People sometimes underestimate the bond that you form as a member of a team," Hensinger continued. "We truly hope that as a member of our team we are able to provide support and camaraderie for Alissa as she continues to overcome the obstacles in front of her. With our pursuit of winning the CCC Championship falling short last season, we have confidence that with Alissa on the team this year she will help bring us closer to dream of raising the championship trophy. We want to thank Team IMPACT for all they have done so far, and we welcome the entire Thomas family as members of our Golden Bear Family."
Team IMPACT is a national nonprofit headquartered in Boston, MA that connects children facing serious or chronic illnesses with college athletic teams, forming lifelong bonds and life-changing outcomes. Since 2011, Team IMPACT has matched more than 1,800 children with more than 600 colleges and universities in 48 states, reaching over 55,000 participating student-athletes. The child joins the athletic team and the student-athletes join the child's support team. Throughout 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.