Seventeen-Year-Old Austin Olive of Yucaipa "Signs" with Bulldog Baseball while Courageously Battling Chromosome 15q13.3 Deletion and Hypohidrotic Ectodermal Dysplasia
Through Team IMPACT, a Boston-headquartered national nonprofit whose mission is to improve the quality of life for children facing serious and chronic illnesses through the power of team, 17-year old Austin Olive became a part of the Redlands baseball team last Monday, April 9. Bulldog baseball held a special "Draft Day" celebration for Austin at The Yard on the beautiful campus of the University of Redlands.
On that day, Head Coach Aaron Holley made some special remarks before giving Austin a Bulldog jersey and hat, and had him sign an official "Celebratory Signing Letter." Since the start of the current spring season, Austin has attended practices, participated in team and individual dinners, and sat in the dugout at previous games. The team also kindly reminded him to be at 6 a.m. weights on Friday morning. The special day ended with Austin taking a few swings in batting practice, participating in fly-ball practice with some awesome catches in the outfield.
Austin lives in Yucaipa, CA with his dad, aunt, and sister Dakota (12). In May of 2010, Austin was diagnosed with Hypohidrotic Ectodermal Dysplasia, a rare genetic condition characterized by a reduced ability and a few physical deformities. Just three days later, he was diagnosed with Chromosome 15q13.2-15q13.3 microdeletion syndrome, which is the deletion of several genes that can cause intellectual disabilities and learning delays. Both conditions are very rare; in fact, Austin is the eighth person in the world known to have both genetic conditions. Both conditions have led to several complications and other challenges, but none of them has stopped Austin from living out at exciting life.
In addition to being an honorary member of the Bulldog baseball team, Austin is on track to graduate from Yucaipa High School. He competes for the Yucaipa Thunderbirds on their boys' water polo and swim teams.
Earlier this spring, Austin's sister Dakota joined the Bulldog women's tennis team through Team IMPACT as well.
Team IMPACT is a national non-profit headquartered in Boston, MA, that connects children facing serious or chronic illnesses with college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes. Since 2011, Team IMPACT has matched more than 1,300 children with more than 500 colleges and universities in 47 states, reaching over 35,000 participating student-athletes. The child joins the athletic team and the student-athletes join the child's support team. Throughout 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. Team IMPACT has more than 1,000 teams waiting to be matched with children, ages 5-16, who have been diagnosed with a serious or chronic illness and could benefit from becoming a member of the team. If you know a child who may be interested, visit www.goteamimpact.org for more information.
-- Courtesy of Redlands Sports Information --