PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Brown University baseball program announced its newest member to the team on Sunday, as five-year-old Alex Falzone of Attleboro, Mass. officially joined the roster through Team IMPACT, a non-profit organization based in Quincy, Mass. that matches children who have life-threatening illnesses with collegiate sports teams.
Alex was introduced by head coach Marek Drabinski through a formal press conference, where he officially signed his letter of intent to become a member of the team and was presented with Brown baseball apparel. Prior to signing, Alex joined the Bears at practice, where he and his two sisters, Gianna and Olivia, helped with team video and a pitching session. Alex will have the opportunity to join the team at various events throughout the season.
"We are extremely excited to have Alex on our team," said Drabinski. "He is truly an outstanding young man with tremendous courage and fight. He and his family are so strong and they inspire all of us everyday."
In October 2012, Alex was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, the most common form of blood cancer found in children. Upon diagnosis, Alex's bone marrow was made up of approximately 85 percent Leukemic cells. From that point, Alex spent over a month in the hospital receiving intense chemotherapy and steroid treatments to induce his remission. Alex is currently in the maintenance phase of his treatment, which consists of weekly visits to The Tomorrow Fund clinic at Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence, and three-week treatment cycles. At his weekly visits, blood is drawn and tested and chemotherapy administered - all through his surgically-implanted port. His three-week cycles consist of further chemotherapy and steroids administered orally at home. He will continue this treatment until November 2014.
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.