April 22, 2013

UMass Boston Athletics to Host Team IMPACT Day This Saturday in Brockton

(Boston, April 22, 2013) — On Saturday, April 27, the UMass Boston Department of Athletics in partnership with Team IMPACT will be hosting the first annual "Team IMPACT Day" at Campanelli Stadium in Brockton as the UMass Boston baseball team hosts Plymouth State University in a Little East Conference doubleheader scheduled to begin at 12 p.m.

The event, which marks the first of its kind for the department, will bring together not only the three Team IMPACT kids from UMass Boston but it will also welcome kids from colleges and universities throughout New England. Led by UMass Boston baseball's own Jake Parker, each Team IMPACT child in attendance at Saturday's contest will be on the field for the opening ceremony and will receive a special gift from the Beacons.

Jake, who was signed to the UMass Boston baseball roster earlier this year, has Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), which is the most common fatal genetic disorder diagnosed in children. It is a genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness. 

On his official draft day, Jake received a UMass Boston jersey signed by every player and the coaching staff and signed an official contract making him a certified Beacon. 

"The signs, the balloons, and the pizza were all a hit! Signing the 'contract' was a big plus, and we took it home to frame it. Having the players 'friend' his dad on Facebook was "cool" and we were able to share pics with 'the guys.' He's looking forward to throwing out the first pitch on game day!" said Jake's mother, Michelle Parker.

Team IMPACT's mission is to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illness by establishing and expanding vibrant team-based support networks. The organization roots date back to the 1960s when players from Middlebury College started "Picking Up Butch," athletic teams have been adopting kids onto their team to the benefit of all parties and participants. Through the power of teamwork, these courageous kids are provided a cherished diversion from their medical realities and benefit greatly from an unparalleled support system.

About UMass Boston
With a growing reputation for innovative research addressing complex issues, the University of Massachusetts Boston, metropolitan Boston's only public university, offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston's nine colleges and graduate schools serve nearly 16,000 students while engaging local, national, and international constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service activities. To learn more about UMass Boston, visit www.umb.edu.