CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte 49ers women’s basketball program has welcomed 17-year old Faith Dixon of Concord, N.C., to its family as an honorary member through a partnership with Team IMPACT. Dixon has a rare blood type, O-, and is awaiting a kidney transplant.
Team IMPACT (Inspire Motivate and Play Against Challenges Together) is a non-profit organization, based in Quincy, Mass., that matches kids with chronic and life-threatening illnesses with college athletic teams to create long-term support networks. Generally, the organization looks for children ages 5-15 who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening or chronic illness that has resulted in treatment and/or extended hospital stays within the last three years and who, as a result of their diagnosis, could benefit from a boost to improve their quality of life, both socially and psychologically.
“I firmly believe this will benefit our team as much as it will benefit Faith,” Charlotte head women’s basketball coach Cara Consuegra said. “To be around a young lady who is battling something that is bigger than what we see on a day-to-day basis and have a chance to be inspired by her and have her inspire us. That’s what excites me the most, is that it’s not just a relationship where it’s us doing something for her. She’s going to be doing a lot for us as well. She will be around as much and as often as she wants to be. She is a special young lady and we’re excited to have her.”
Dixon attended a mock “signing” ceremony with her family, including her mother Jennifer, in the Miltimore-Wallis Athletic Training and Academic Center Video Education Center. She signed a mock National Letter of Intent with Consuegra, women’s basketball staff members and players, and other Charlotte administrators all in attendance.
Dixon is a former member of the Northwest Cabarrus HS girls’ basketball team, where she played as a 5-10 center for the Trojans and head coach Anthony Bethea. She did not play this past season due to her condition.
“For us, with Faith loving basketball and being a former player herself, this was a perfect fit for us. It gave us the opportunity to get involved with her permanently. It also gives her a chance to continue to be a part of something she loves, basketball.”
The partnership between Charlotte women’s basketball and Faith Dixon will be permanent, as long as she is in need of treatment for her condition. She becomes a part of the program just like any other recruit.
“Any time we welcome a new recruit, we say they become a part of our family. We anticipate having Faith here as a 49er and participating in activities with our team now and forever. She will essentially be doing everything with us except traveling and competing.”
Dixon received official Charlotte women’s basketball gear, has a locker with a name plate in the team’s locker room inside Halton Arena and will attend future film sessions, practices, games and any other team activities.
“Our team was looking for a community service-type project that can be more on-going, not just a one-time thing. We wanted to get involved with an organization and we received an email from Team IMPACT explaining its mission and what they do. We’re just really excited about welcoming her to our team.”
For more information on Team IMPACT, visit the organization’s website at www.goteamimpact.org