GREENSBORO, N.C. – Guilford College’s women’s lacrosse coach Sarah Lamphier introduced eight-year-old Brooke Austin as the Quakers’ newest team member Wednesday afternoon. Lamphier introduced Austin to a contingent of Guilford community members at the special signing-day event in Founders Hall on Guilford’s campus.
Austin, of nearby Summerfield, North Carolina, comes to the Quakers through Team IMPACT, a national non-profit organization that matches children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses to college athletics teams. The relationship is designed to give the children and their families a support system that will improve quality of life during treatment and beyond.
Eight months after birth, Brooke was diagnosed with Pilocytic Astrocytoma of the optic nerve, and a craniotomy removed most of the tumor. An MRI in April 2015 indicated the tumor started growing again, which prompted additional treatment. A more recent test showed the growth has stopped, but Brooke remains under doctors’ care.
“Brooke has been with us now since the beginning of this year and I can tell she will truly be the heart and the soul behind our program,” Lamphier said. “She is the most enthusiastic and energetic person we have on our team, and truly epitomizes a fighter. Brooke is already a huge influence and inspiration to us all.”
Lamphier presented Austin with a lacrosse stick, as well as other assorted gifts and Guilford memorabilia. Austin fielded brief questions about her pets and posed for pictures with several Quakers’ student-athletes before speaking with media members in attendance.
Austin is the first Team IMPACT child placed with a Guilford team. Team IMPACT children are drafted onto college athletic teams, local to where they live, and to the greatest extent possible, become a member of the team from Draft Day through to graduation.
Established in 2011, Team IMPACT has already matched over 700 children with collegiate teams at over 300 institutions in 43 states, improving the quality of life of hundreds of courageous children and touching the lives of over 20,000 student athletes. Team IMPACT is actively looking for more children to participate in the program. The organization seeks additional children, aged 5-15, who could use a social or psychological boost and would benefit from the support and camaraderie that comes from being a part of a team. Additional information is available at www.GoTeamIMPACT.org.