MANCHESTER, N.H. — The Southern New Hampshire University men's lacrosse program recently announced the addition of Pierce Eastman, Jared Eastman and Toby Eastman to its roster. The Eastman brothers officially joined the team through Team IMPACT, a non-profit organization based in Quincy, Massachusetts that matches children who have life-threatening illnesses with collegiate sports teams.
Pierce, Jared and Toby were introduced by head coach Paul Calkins through a formal press conference, where they each signed their letters of intent to become members of the team and were presented with Penmen men's lacrosse apparel. After signing, the Eastman brothers joined their teammates on the sideline for Southern New Hampshire's Senior Day game against LeMoyne College.
"Pierce is a four-year-old young man and is an inspiration to our program," Calkins said. "He will be someone we will use as motivation everyday as we put our pads on."
Pierce was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, the most common form of blood cancer found in children, when he was just six months old. Over the next two years, he underwent intense chemotherapy treatment that began with two months of in-patient care and he now suffers from motor skill delays and vision issues. On top of his chemotherapy treatments, Pierce has undergone several surgeries and is now in remission. Although he is in remission he still has a surgically-implanted port, and doctors perform monthly inspections, lab work and transfusions while also monitoring the state of his immune system because it is deficient. Pierce is unable to receive vaccinations because his body cannot fight off the small dose. Older brother Jared and younger brother Toby have also been affected by Pierce's Leukemia, as they often stay with their grandmother while the Eastman family is in the hospital with Pierce.
About Team IMPACT
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. The organization endeavors to continually encourage a wide range of team-based organizations to open up their ranks and extend their laughter, strength and support for children facing these adverse issues, and events. For more information, visit goteamimpact.org.
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