The Massachusetts Maritime community welcomed two new and very special members of the Buccaneer women’s soccer team on Tuesday afternoon, as 11-year-old Nicolette and eight-year-old Christiana Silva of Mashpee were drafted in a special ceremony that took place inside the Clean Harbors Athletic Center. The Draft Day event was part of the Academy’s continuing partnership with Team IMPACT, a non-profit organization based in Quincy that partners with colleges and universities across the region to improve the quality of life for children facing adverse issues and events by establishing and expanding vibrant team-based support networks.
Nicolette and Christiana were joined by their parents, Katie and Napoleon, and their five-year-old brother Trey, as the entire Silva family was escorted onto campus by Massachusetts Maritime Campus Police and welcomed into the Clean Harbors Athletic Center by nearly 200 student-athletes, coaches, administrators, staffs and cadets. The girls signed their “letters of intent” for Head Coach Yvonna Press to become part of the Buccaneer women’s soccer program and were surrounded by their new teammates and coaches.
Both Nicolette and Christiana were diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis shortly after birth, and they have both endured hospital stays because of the illness. They have similar treatment schedules, which include daily medication and taking enzymes before meals, and they both have breathing treatment twice a day for 1-2 hours at a time. Despite living with CF, Nicolette and Christiana continue to persevere and are not only able to stare down adversity, they overcome it, as both girls are members of youth soccer teams in Mashpee.
Team IMPACT is engaged in a corporate partnership with Vertex Pharmaceuticals, a global biotech company that is working to develop medicines for all people with cystic fibrosis (CF) - a rare, life-shortening disease. Together, we have launched an awareness campaign called, 'The Team IMPACT CF Project, Sponsored by Vertex Pharmaceuticals.' As part of their All in for CF campaign, Vertex is showcasing Team IMPACT, and more specifically, the incredible relationships between the courageous participating children that are battling CF and their teams.
Nicolette and Christiana become the fifth and sixth members of the Massachusetts Maritime Team IMPACT family with their draft today, joining Teddy McGowan of men’s lacrosse, Tyler Smith of baseball, Michael Hebert of football and Thomas Schmid of men’s soccer.
For more information on Team IMPACT, please visit www.goteamimpact.org.