Auburn, Mass. (August 12) -- The Assumption College women's soccer team, partnering with Team IMPACT, is welcoming Jewelia Smith to the Greyhounds' program starting this season. Three team members, along with head coach Glenn Melia and a number of athletics support staff, met the Smith family at Crystal Caves in Auburn, Mass. on Sunday afternoon.
The team, which opens preseason camp on Monday, August 13th, will formally welcome Jewelia to the team at the season opener on September 1st vs. Felician College at the Multi-Sport Stadium. Prior to that, the team will involve Jewelia and her family in the two preseason scrimmages set to take place in August.
Jewelia is a 14-year old from Spencer, Mass., and is one of four children. In July 2000, when Jewelia was four years old, she was diagnosed with bi-lateral Wilms Tumor, a form of pediatric kidney cancer. Unlike typical Wilms Tumor cases where the cancer is found in only one kidney, Jewelia's cancer metastasized to both kidneys. She had surgery to remove one kidney while the other one was treated with radiation. After her surgery, Jewelia underwent 6 months of chemotherapy and 10 days of radiation that targeted her body from her neck all the way down to her pelvis. At the age of nine, Jewelia began having complications with her spleen and it now does not function properly, causing her to be careful whenever she has a fever or any other sickness. In addition, she also was diagnosed with Beckwith-Weidmann syndrome which predisposes a person to 10 different types of cancer.
Team IMPACT is a non-profit chartered to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening illnesses. Across the northeast we create unparalleled team based support systems. Core to our model is harnessing the power of teamwork by matching these courageous kids with college athletic teams. Team IMPACT children are drafted onto local college athletic teams and become an official member of the team for the duration of their treatment and beyond. For more information on Team IMPACT, visit www.goteamimpact.org.