Watson, a Bardwell, Kentucky native, is one of 30,000 patients in the United States living with cystic fibrosis (CF), a disease predominantly diagnosed in children at a young age.
Watson was diagnosed at a young age with CF which is a chronic, progressive and incurable disease that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system.
Through Team IMPACT’s program, Watson becomes an official member of the UTM softball team. As a team member, she will attend Skyhawk practices, games, team dinners, events and more.
“The entire UT Martin softball coaching staff and players are very excited to welcome Jada into our softball family,” Dunn said. “We are looking forward to her being a part of everything we do and believe that the energy and courage that she displays on a daily basis will help motivate all of us to be better players, coaches and people.”
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. Since 2011, Team IMPACT has matched more than 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.
Jada’s determination to persevere through adversity has already made her an inspiration to her Skyhawks teammates.