Bridgeport, Conn.-University of Bridgeport head women's gymnastics coach Byron Knox and the UB women's gymnastics program welcomed its newest member on Thursday evening in the Wheeler Recreation Center, as eight-year old Amber Lehrman was added to the team's roster as part of a Team IMPACT "Draft Day" ceremony.
Amber joins the Purple Knights while she courageously battles heart disease. She has a device implanted in her heart to help repair her ASD (Atrial septal defect). Unfortunately, the device did not fully close the hole near the top of her heart and because of this, as well as other health concerns, Amber still faces many challenges in her daily life.
As a team member, she will attend UB's practices, meets and other team events.
Said head coach Knox, "We are delighted to have Amber join our program. She will be a key member of the Purple Knights this season as we progress toward our many team goals during the 2019 campaign, and we sincerely hope she enjoys her time with us."
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 nearly 1,600 children with more than 500 colleges and universities in 49 states, reaching over 50,000 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.
Team IMPACT has more than 1,000 teams waiting to be matched with children, ages 5-16, who have been diagnosed with a serious or chronic illness and who could benefit from becoming a member of the team. If you know a child who may be interested, visit www.goteamimpact.org for more information.