CALDWELL, N.J.- On Wednesday, March 9, the Caldwell University women’s soccer team welcomed their newest teammate, seven-year old Payton, through Team IMPACT. The draft day was held in the George R. Newman Center with her family in attendance as well as member of the soccer team and coaching staff.
Payton signed her National Letter of Intent to join the Cougars on the sidelines this fall. She and the team were connected through Team IMPACT, whose mission is to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses by establishing and expanding vibrant team-based support networks.
“We are honored to have Payton and her family join our team,” said Head Coach Nate Guagliardi. “She embodies all that we stand for here at Caldwell, and we are proud of her and the way she has fought and continues to fight.”
Payton developed kidney dysplasia which is where her kidneys were not able to function properly. She has undergone several surgeries over the years battling this disease. Now, Payton is doing well. She takes medication and has regular doctor visits as she continues her recovery.
She was greeted by members of the Caldwell University women’s soccer team and presented with Caldwell women’s soccer gear by Coach Guagliardi. The team advocates include Mary Kanzler, Shelagh Kerrisk, Kayla Troisi and Kylie Whalen. Payton will join the team on the sidelines this fall attending practices and games to support the Cougars women’s soccer team.
Payton’s parents were in attendance for her signing day along with her two brothers Travis and Ryan. According to Payton, her favorite color is pink and her favorite number is seven. Her favorite song is Sledgehammer by Fifth Harmony and her favorite singer is Taylor Swift! She loves gymnastics and cheering, her favorite game is Gaga and she loves to draw. Payton’s favorite movie is The Good Dinosaur, her favorite show is The Thundermans and her favorite food is pasta with butter!
ABOUT TEAM IMPACT:
Team IMPACT is a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses through the power of team. Team IMPACT children are drafted on to college athletic teams, local to where they live and, in effect, become official members of the team from Draft Day through to Graduation. At Team IMPACT, they envision a future where the lives of children facing the hardships associated with adverse issues and events will have access to collegiate team -based support in order to significantly enhance their quality of life in a number of ways, including; socially, psychologically, physically and academically. Team IMPACT also strives to provide collegiate teams with increased levels of awareness, sympathy and support for the medial and disease communities. Established in 2011, Team IMPACT has already matched over 700 children with collegiate teams at over 300 institutions in 42 states, improving the quality of life of hundreds of courageous children and touching the lives of over 21,000 student athletes. For more information, please visit: www.goteamimpact.org.