The University of Mount Union women's soccer team gained a new teammate in seven-year-old Addie Smith, a native of Akron, Ohio, who signed her letter of intent to officially become a part of the Raider family in 2015. She was joined by her mother, Marissa Smith, her sisters, Kaylei and Kenzie, Head Coach Kelley Clark, and many of her new Raider teammates.
Mount Union held a “draft day” for Addie through Team IMPACT, an organization that strives to “improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses through the power of team”. Addie suffers from several illnesses, including an immune dysfunction called hypogammaglobulinemia, Ehlers-Danos Syndrome (EDS), and Chiari malformation.
Upon becoming an official team member, Addie was given her own Mount Union jersey and locker in the women’s locker room. Addie attended as many games as possible and had her own spot on the sidelines to watch and interact with the team. Additionally, Addie and her Purple Raider family have enjoyed many movie nights and dance parties together.
Team IMPACT has helped Addie gain “great strength, camaraderie, and support and has allowed the student athletes to learn lessons about courage, resiliency, and life perspective that they can’t learn in a classroom.”