UU softball welcomes Bryleigh Dunn to the team

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The Urbana University softball team announced it will hold a “Draft Day” celebration Wednesday afternoon for the signing of blue-chip recruit, Bryleigh Dunn. The special event will begin at 4 p.m. in the Student Center located on UU’s campus.

Five-year-old Bryleigh, who is a native of Troy, comes to UU from Team IMPACT, a Boston-based national non-profit that connects children facing serious and chronic illnesses with local college athletic teams. Bryleigh has systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA) and macrophage activation syndrome (MAS).

“We are very excited to have Bryleigh and her family as part of our program,” said UU Coach Brooke McCartney. “She has already proven to be a great fit for our team and the girls love her energy and passion.”

The softball team met Bryleigh last week and got to know their newest teammate while carving pumpkins. After her official signing, Bryleigh will become a member of the Urbana University softball team, and she will attend practices, games, team bonding activities and much more.

“Having Bryleigh on our team is such a joy for us,” said sophomore Jade Laviolette. “Coming to practice or a game and seeing her will brighten everyone’s mood. We’re very excited to get to know her more and have her involved in our program on and off the field.”

In January of 2016, Bryleigh was diagnosed with SJIA. About a month later, she was rushed to the hospital for the flu and during this time the doctors discovered a deadly rare side-effect called MAS. Currently, Bryleigh goes to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital every two weeks to get chemo shots, lab work and infusions.

Bryleigh’s “Draft Day” will include a press conference, the signing of the National Letter of Intent, special remarks by the athletic staff and a celebration party/trick-or-treating with her new teammates.


Team IMPACT has matched nearly 1,600 children with more than 500 colleges and universities in 48 states, reaching over 50,000 participating student-athletes who experience lessons of courage, resiliency and perspective that can’t be learned in a classroom.

For more information, visit goteamimpact.org.

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