NORTH ANDOVER, MA – As part of the Merrimack College Athletic Department's ongoing partnership with Team IMPACT, the Merrimack men's lacrosse team welcomed its two newest and youngest teammates to the squad on Friday, Matthew and Noah Davidopoulos.
"Our program is honored to have the opportunity to be selected by Team Impact to add Matthew and his brother Noah to our team," said head coach Mike Morgan. "The Davidopoulous family brings an unbelievable attitude especially in their care of Matthew. Our hope is that we can make life a little easier and more enjoyable for the boys as well as our team to continue to value giving back to the community."
The Warriors welcomed Matthew and Noah to the Merrimack community on Monday afternoon with a special meeting. Matthew and Noah were greeted by the entire Merrimack men's lacrosse team in the Blue Line Club on arrival to campus. The two brothers along with their Merrimack coaches sat down and signed their National Letters of Intent to become a part of the Merrimack Lacrosse family.
The newest Merrimack Warriors both received official gear from the coaching staff and were also presented with a locker in the lacrosse locker room, with their own personalized name plates.
Matthew was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, SMA, in December of 2009 by the doctors at Children's Hospital. SMA is an autosomal recessive disease caused by a genetic defect in the SMN1 gene that codes SMN, a protein widely expressed in all eukaryotic cells. Spinal Muscular Atrophy manifests in various degrees of severity which all have in common general muscle wasting and mobility impairment. Other body systems may be affected as well, particularly in early-onset forms.
Doctors told the Davidopoulos family that Matthew would not see his second birthday but because of great research and advancements in medicine, his fourth birthday is quickly approaching.
Matthew and his brother Noah will be vital teammates for the Warriors throughout their tough NE-10 Conference schedule and into the playoffs. The brothers will attend practices along with games all year long, rooting on their teammates from the sidelines.
The men's lacrosse team is just one of a wide group of Merrimack Athletics teams that have forged unforgettable relationships with members of the Team IMPACT program.
Team IMPACT's mission is to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses by establishing and expanding vibrant team-based support networks.