LOWELL, Mass. – UMass Lowell Hockey Head Coach Norm Bazin officially welcomed Lucas St. Onge to the team through a Draft Day event on Tuesday afternoon at the Tsongas Center. St. Onge, who is a four-year-old boy from Lowell, Mass., was matched with the River Hawks through Team IMPACT, a Boston-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for children facing chronic illnesses.
“We are really excited that Lucas has chosen UMass Lowell and is now officially part of our team,” said Bazin. “He will bring a lot of inspiration to our team, and his presence at practices and games will be great for our team chemistry.”
St. Onge chose to be a part of the UMass Lowell hockey team during a special Draft Day press conference. He was greeted by the River Hawks’ mascot, Rowdy with a special message on the video board at the Tsongas Center.
At about two months of age, St. Onge was diagnosed with an immune dysfunction that has impacted him in many different ways. Lucas only has about 18% of his intestines and has no stomach motility. He has been on a transplant list for about a year now for a new liver, small intestine, pancreas and stomach. With daily treatments and medication, Lucas still finds the strength to be a happy, active, hockey loving four year old.
Team IMPACT is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses through the power of team. Team IMPACT children are drafted on to college athletic teams, local to where they live and, in effect, become official members of the team from Draft Day through to Graduation. At Team IMPACT, they envision a future where the lives of children facing the hardships associated with adverse issues and events will have access to collegiate team-based support in order to significantly enhance their quality of life in a number of ways, including; socially, psychologically, physically and academically. Team IMPACT also strives to provide collegiate teams with increased levels of awareness, sympathy and support for the medical and disease communities. Established in 2011, Team IMPACT has already matched over 700 children with collegiate teams, at over 300 institutions in 44 states, improving the quality of life of hundreds of courageous children and touching the lives of over 21,000 student athletes. For more information, please visit: http://www.goteamimpact.org.