By Harrison LaLone, Sports Information Student Assistant
Alma, Mich. - The Alma College women's lacrosse team has a new secret weapon: 8 year-old Lianna Shearer from East Lansing, Mich. Lianna accompanied the team on the sideline for the final home game of the season: a 14-9 victory over the Trine University Thunder on April 27.
Lianna was diagnosed with Cystic Hygroma just one week before birth. This condition caused a tumor-like sac of fluid in her neck, causing serious complications. She had her first surgery at only 5 months old. At age 4, Lianna had a tracheostomy, lasting 9 months. She started chemotherapy in August of 2015 and has continued it since. Overall, Lianna has had 28 total surgeries/procedures. Even with the struggles, she has perservered through it all.
Head coach Ashley Johnson said, "We are so thrilled to have this opportunity to partner with Team Impact and draft Lianna Shearer as our newest Alma Scot. Lianna epitomizes what it takes to be a key member of our Alma Lacrosse family. Her determined spirit and her ability to persevere through adversity makes her an inspiration to all of her Alma teammates".
Freshman goalkeeper Allie Ray (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y. / Comsewogue) added, "It is an absolute honor to participate in this incredible program. Lianna is a ray of sunshine and is a perfect fit for our team. Lianna's strength inspires every single one of us and gives us the determination to put in the extra work and go the extra mile".
Team IMPACT (Inspire, Motivate, and Play Against Challenges Together) partnered with the Alma College women's lacrosse team to make this new relationship possible. Team IMPACT is a national organization based in Boston, Mass. that pairs children with chronic or life-threatening ailments with local collegiate sports teams, creating a large support system for the child. On their website, Team IMPACT expresses its vision "...by focusing on the best experience for the child we can also significantly impact families, student athletes, colleges and communities".
For more information, or to aid Team IMPACT in their cause, please visit http://www.goteamimpact.org.