(Nashua, N.H.) It was a surreal day in the life of one Damien Rodrigues as he was introduced to the Rivier University community. In front of a packed room inside the Dion Center, the young seven year-old was on stage along with Head Men's Basketball Coach Lance Bisson and sophomore Joshua L'Heureux (Dracut, Mass.) as the team welcomed Damien with his own press conference.
"The Raider Way is to always fight no matter what is stacked against you." Coach Bisson said during the press conference. "Every Rivier Raider knows that giving is not an option and whatever battle we face today will make us stronger forever."
Damien Rodrigues joins the Raiders after first being introduced to the program from Team IMPACT, a national non-profit organization that connects children facing serious and chronic illnesses to local college/university athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes.
He is Nashua, New Hampshire native who has been diagnosed with Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis, or better known as FSGS. FSGS is a rare disease that attacks the kidney's filtering units. Damien's treatments have included biopsies, infusions and monthly labs. Just last week he went through an infusion and handled it like a Champ!
"Damien embodies the spirit of what it means to be a Rivier Raider." Coach Bisson discussed following the event. "I truly believe that the lives of everyone involved will be positively affected by this relationship and I would like to thank Team IMPACT on making this possible for us."
This is the third time that Team IMPACT has paired local children with one of the Raider Athletic Teams. The Men's Basketball team welcomed Jack Christenson prior to the 2012-13 season and Connor Flanagan was a part of the Baseball team in the 2014 season.
For more information on Team IMPACT, please visit www.teamimpact.org. The Rivier Men's Basketball team will continue their season tonight with a home-game tonight against Regis College. Tip-off is scheduled for 7pm inside the Muldoon Gymnasium. Please visit www.rivierathletics.com for up-to-date information on all the Athletic Programs at Rivier University.