Saint Mary’s College Athletics Pairs with Local Child for Team IMPACT Alliance

Sarah Miesle
Director of Sports Information
Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, Ind.
(574) 284-5290

December 2, 2014 (Notre Dame, Ind.) – The Saint Mary’s College Department of Athletics has joined Team IMPACT and has been partnered with a ten-year-old girl from New Carlisle, Indiana in a unique program which spans the country.

According to their website, Team IMPACT is an organization which improves the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses by matching these courageous kids with local college athletic teams. Nearly 300 schools have been matched with 560 children in 37 states.

Through the organization, Saint Mary’s College has been paired up with ten-year-old Bryanna Sikora. Bryanna was born drug exposed due to her birth mother's substance abuse during pregnancy. As a result, she suffered from amneotic band syndrome, which occurs when amniotic bands wrap around the fetus resulting in development problems. Additionally, Bryanna has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy, and arthogryposis. She has needed a trach, has a feeding tube, and communicates through sign language and a communication device.

“Team IMPACT has given us a broader sense of our responsibility through sport,” said head basketball coach Jenn Henley. “We have the opportunity to be involved in Bryanna's life in a way that can give her and her family joy and happiness - talk about IMPACT! All coaches hope that their athletes can take away life-long lessons as a result of being on a team. Team IMPACT has certainly done that for the Belles.”

Bryanna will be officially join the Saint Mary’s basketball team on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 prior to the team’s 7:30 p.m. game at home against Alma on what will be her “Draft Day”. Bryanna will receive a reversible jersey as well as other team apparel and will be announced as the newest member of the team in a recognition ceremony at approximately 7:20 p.m. on Wednesday. Media are welcome to cover the event.

For more on Team IMPACT, visit their website by clicking here.

About Saint Mary’s College: Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., is a four-year, Catholic, residential, women’s liberal arts college offering five bachelor’s degrees and more than 30 major areas of study, such as business, nursing, art, chemistry, and social work. The College’s single-gender environment has been proven, in study after study, to foster confidence, ethical leadership, and strong academic success. Saint Mary’s College ranks among the top 100 Best National Liberal Arts Colleges for 2015 published by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1844 by the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Saint Mary’s College’s mission is to educate women and prepare them for postgraduate success whether it’s a first job, graduate school, or postgraduate service.