Football Drafts Pittsford's Delshon Norwood from Team IMPACT
October 9, 2012
The Middlebury College football team recently welcomed its newest teammate when it drafted Delshon Norwood, a Pittsford, Vermont native, through Team IMPACT (Inspire, Motivate, Play Against Challenges, Together) in a ceremony at the College. On Monday, October 8, Delshon and his mother were on campus for a “signing day,” where he became an official member of the Middlebury College football team.
Team IMPACT connects children with special health needs with college sports teams. They chose to connect Delshon with Middlebury College's football team because it was one of the closest schools to where he lives.
Just before his first birthday, in August 2002, Delshon was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis—the most common chronic and life-threatening lung disease found in children. With his diagnosis, Delshon's daily regiment includes; daily breathing treatments two to four times a day, ingesting enzymes prior to every meal to help digest food, medicine for his liver and other allergies, vest therapy (a type of physical therapy for his lungs) every morning and night, all in addition to a feeding tube that is connected to his blood stream where he is given the nutrients he needs to survive.
“Delshon loves football but isn't strong enough at this time to be able to play, so for him to be part of Middlebury's football team means the world to him,” said Delshon’s mother, Carrie Gallipo. “The team has gone above and beyond to make Delshon part of their team. Saturday after the game against Amherst, Delshon told coach Ritter that he was saving his money to buy a Middlebury football helmet. Today (Monday) at the press conference, Del was given not only a jersey but also the Middlebury helmet that he wanted."
In a typical year, Delshon has at least one two-week stay at the hospital in addition to regular visits every three months. Regardless of his daily regiment and future prognosis, Delshon has an incredible attitude and loves to play on a number of sports teams. More than anything, Delshon can help give each and every member of the Middlebury football family a healthy dose of perspective of how lucky they are to be in the position they are in. The team will give Delshon the support he needs to continue his fight against CF and provide him the motivation to strive to be the best athlete and person he can be.
The leadership group from the football team includes: John Wiet, Brett Harasimowicz, Jack Allard, McCallum Foote, Billy Sadik-Khan and Albert Giroux. The group will help Delshon acclimate to his new team and have already started to plan some team activities.
“As Delshon's mother I can't thank Middlebury enough for this opportunity they have given him," said Gallipo. "This is an experience that we will remember forever. Delshon is really enjoying spending time with all the players.”
Team IMPACT is a non-profit organization chartered to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and other chronic illnesses.