BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The Moravian College men's basketball team "signed" 10-year-old Ezekiel Rodas of Allentown to the squad's roster Friday during a Team IMPACT Draft Day sponsored by Vertex Phamaceuticals.
Ezekiel is one of 30,000 patients in the United States living courageously with cystic fibrosis (CF), a disease predominantly diagnosed in children by the age of two. By sponsoring Draft Days of children with CF, Vertex Pharmaceuticals helps spread awareness for the disease—and the lifelong, positive effects Team IMPACT has on these children.
"We are excited and grateful for the opportunity to partner with Team IMPACT and have Ezekiel join our family," stated Head Coach Shawn Postiglione. "We love Ezekiel's energy and enthusiasm for our team and the game of basketball. We are looking forward to having a lot more great experiences with Ezekiel and his family as he positively impacts our program."
Team IMPACT is a national nonprofit that connects children facing serious and chronic illnesses with local college athletic teams, forming lifelong bonds and life-changing outcomes. Through the support of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, children who have CF, like Ezekiel, are drafted onto local college athletic teams and become an official member of the team to support the child's physical, social, and emotional needs. By being a part of the Moravian College Men's Basketball program, Ezekiel has been at and will continue to attend Greyhounds practices, games, team dinners, events and more.
Since 2011, Team IMPACT has matched over 2,000 children with more than 700 colleges and universities in 48 states, reaching over 55,000 participating student athletes. The child joins the athletic team and the student athletes join the child's support team – from Draft Day to Graduation. During the journey, the child gains strength, camaraderie, and support while the student athletes experience lessons of courage, resiliency and perspective they can't learn in a classroom. Ezekiel's determination to persevere through adversity has already made him an inspiration to his future Greyhounds teammates.
Friday's draft day included Ezekiel attending practice, a press conference with him signing his official letter and the Greyhounds revealing a locker for him in the team's locker room.
About Team IMPACT
Team IMPACT is a national nonprofit headquartered in Boston that connects children facing serious or chronic illnesses with college athletic teams, forming lifelong bonds and life-changing outcomes. Team IMPACT has more than 1,200 teams across the country waiting to be matched with children, ages 5-16, who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening or chronic illness and who could benefit from becoming a member of the team. If you know a child who may be interested, please visit www.teamimpact.org for more information.
About Vertex Pharmaceuticals
Vertex is a global biotechnology company that invests in scientific innovation to create transformative medicines for people with serious diseases. The company has three approved medicines that treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis (CF) – a rare, life-threatening genetic disease — and has several ongoing clinical and research programs in CF. Beyond CF, Vertex has a robust pipeline of investigational medicines in other serious diseases where it has deep insight into causal human biology, such as sickle cell disease, beta thalassemia, pain, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, Duchenne muscular dystrophy and APOL1-mediated kidney diseases.
Founded in 1989 in Cambridge, Mass., Vertex's global headquarters is now located in Boston's Innovation District and its international headquarters is in London, UK. Additionally, the company has research and development sites and commercial offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Latin America. Vertex is consistently recognized as one of the industry's top places to work, including nine consecutive years on Science magazine's Top Employers list and top five on the 2019 Best Employers for Diversity list by Forbes. For company updates and to learn more about Vertex's history of innovation, visit www.vrtx.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.