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Matthew McGuinness is all smiles after becoming a lifetime member of St. Bonaventure University's club hockey team. At left is hockey coach Bill Fanton. In The News:
A Franklinville teen with a rare kidney disease became a lifetime member of the St. Bonaventure University club hockey team Saturday, Nov. 7.
Thanks to the efforts of Team IMPACT, a national organization that improves the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses through the power of team, Matthew McGuinness, 14, signed a National Letter of Intent to join the Bonnies.
The signing ceremony and press conference took place at noon on the second floor of the Reilly Center.
Team IMPACT matches children with local college athletic teams.
“When Team IMPACT proposed this, we immediately said yes,” said Bill Fanton, head coach of the hockey team. “This is a great opportunity for us to give back, in whatever small way we can, to help lift Matthew’s spirits at this difficult time in his life.”
About a year ago, Matthew was diagnosed with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a rare kidney disease. It’s the same disease that afflicted former NBA stars Alonzo Mourning and Sean Elliott, both of whom received kidney transplants.
At the time of diagnosis, Matthew had less than 5 percent kidney function. He has daily dialysis and doctors and family members are trying to get him placed on the transplant list.
“This is just the start of the relationship,” said Rob DeFazio, director of SBU’s Center for Activities, Recreation & Leadership. “The hockey team will include Matthew in all team operations going forward. And the relationship doesn’t end when the season ends. It will continue throughout each season for many years.”
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things. St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #5 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. Our students are becoming extraordinary.
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