FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WORCESTER, Mass. - The Assumption softball team officially signed Sophia Landeo to their team for the upcoming season, hosting official signing day for her with the help of Team IMPACT on recently in front of her family, friends and new teammates.
The West Bolyston native has been battling Ehlers-Danlos for many years. Ehlers-Danlos is a disorder that affects 1 in 5,000 people. It is a connective tissue disorder that leads to joint hypermobility, skin hyperextensibility, and tissue fragility. For more information on Ehlers-Danlos or to donate to research please click here.
"We did not know what to expect [on Sunday]," said Sophia's father Jorge Landeo. "The day itself was a bit cold and rainy but that did not deter our spirits or those of the Softball Team! Sophia smiled the entire time she was there. It was amazing. Sophia is looking forward to is watching the games and being in the dugout. It means a lot to her to be part of the team!"
It was a special day not only for Sophia, but her father as well who is an Assumption alum.
"For me it was a serendipitous experience having gone to Assumption and graduated back in 2001, he said. "It was surreal seeing Sophia be officially part of the Assumption family. Interestingly, we met at Assumption in the Plourde Building while volunteering at the Winter Special Olympics back in 2004. Sophia's Grandparents were just elated to be there as well. I think even our son Josh had a little fun. Many thanks to coach, who has been so gracious during this experience. We even got a surprise visit from the President Mr. Cesareo! That was great!"
On Sunday April 8th, against Adelphi, the team plans on hosting a "Sophia Day" to honor their newest member and spread awareness about Ehlers-Danlos. Sophia spreads awareness on her own by recording her everyday experience with this invisible illness on her blog called Sophia's Journey, which can be found here.
"Signing Sophia was not just a special day for her and her family but also for our softball program and our Assumption community," said Head Coach Jon Ladino. "There was a lot of planning and support that goes into a day like this, and we are so grateful for the people around us! Sophia is a special person and has been through so much already in her life. We are honored to have her be a part of our program and we look forward to learning from her and her family!"
- Information for this release provided by the athletic communications staff at Assumption
ABOUT TEAM IMPACT
Team IMPACT is a national nonprofit headquartered in Boston, Mass. that connects children facing serious or chronic illnesses with college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes. Since 2011, Team IMPACT has matched more than 1,300 children with more than 500 colleges and universities in 47 states, reaching over 35,000 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.
ABOUT THE NE10
The NE10 is an association of 15 diverse institutions serving student-athletes across 24 NCAA Division II sports. Together we build brilliant futures by embracing the journey of every student-athlete.
Each year, 4,500 of those student-athletes compete in conference championships in 24 sports, making the NE10 the largest DII conference in the country in terms of sport sponsorship. Leading the way in the classroom, on the field and within the community, the NE10 is proud of its comprehensive program and the experience it provides student-athletes.