MILTON, Mass. - The Curry College Athletic Department partnered again with Team IMPACT to welcome Rachel Wojcik as an honorary team member of the Curry Colonels Women's Lacrosse Team. Wojcik, 10, from nearby Hingham, Mass. was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in June of 2011.
According to Rachel, her favorite number is 3 and she likes pop music, listing 'Beauty and the Beat' as one of her favorite songs. Her favorite foods are baked ziti and string cheese and her favorite colors are red, orange, and PURPLE! On TV, she loves watching old re-runs of Full House, Good Luck Charlie Body of Proof, and Shake it Up Chicago, and her favorite athletes are Tyler Seguin and Rajon Rondo. She likes to sing, but not in public, and she loves to go swimming, especially in pools.
On Sunday, April 21, at the Walter M. Katz Field in Milton, the Curry Women's Lacrosse team welcomed Rachel as an honorary member of their team and gave her a quilt that was specially made, with welcome messages from each player on the team, Curry College women's lacrosse gear, including her own lacrosse stick and a back pack to match the players with her favorite number on it. She also has her own locker, decorated with a customized name plate. Accompanied by her parents, Richard and Christine and sister Jennifer, Rachel was presented with a cake and banner after some bonding time with the team out on the field.
Christine had this to say about Rachel's visit on Sunday. "Since being diagnosed with leukemia Rachel has suffered many side effects, a punctured lung, and sensitivities to the chemo meds including fractures in both of her knees. She doesn't feel well most of the time. She most recently developed a lot of anxiety. Our daily life became so overwhelmed with the cancer and worry that it is so easy to forget about anything else. Being a child is replaced with an illness that no child should ever have to suffer. When we walked onto the field Sunday to meet the Curry College Women's Lacrosse team we were not sure if we were in the right place. However, at the very moment the team laid eyes on Rachel walking onto the field they instantly made her feel so special and welcome! The team was so excited to meet Rachel and they were all so friendly!! Rachel's anxiety of meeting a new team disappeared instantly!! She had a wonderful day. She told me she loved it and had so much fun!! The girls all sat around in a circle on the field and talked to Rachel. Rachel loved talking about her favorite sports teams which include the Bruins, Celtics, and Patriots. She loves the Boston Sports teams!! They talked about their own team, their studies...nursing and education. Rachel expressed to them how she wants to be an oncology nurse on 6 North of The Boston Children's Hospital when she grows up."
Christine goes on to say, "My family could not have asked for a better day or a better bunch of girls!! What stood out to us was how great they all got along!! Rachel loved the campus so much and the girls she said she might like to go to Curry College when she grows up!!"
The Curry Athletic Department was equally enthusiastic about forming this partnership. Athletic Director Vinnie Eruzione realizes the significance of this kind of commitment, both for the team as well as for Rachel.
"The reaction from our players has been very positive," said Eruzione. "It gives them the opportunity to look beyond X's and O's - wins and losses - and really see what it important in life."
"Our team is more than just a group of athletes we are a family," said Coach Roberts. "Rachel has just become the newest member of our family and we are very lucky and thrilled to have her."
"Not only am I happy and excited to have Rachel joining our team," says freshman Leigha Sweeney, "but I am honored, grateful and proud. I hope we can give her back half of the inspiration, support, strength and motivation that she has given us since the day we found out she would become a part of our family. We look forward to working with Rachel on and off the field."