(Carlisle, Pa.) – The Dickinson baseball team signed its newest member of the squad on Saturday as the Red Devils opened training camp for the 2014 season.
Joining the Red Devils from the Team IMPACT program is 17 year old Matt Kocsis (Camp Hill, Pa.). At a press conference held in the brand new Durden Athletic Training Center, Matt signed his commitment letter to become an official member of the Dickinson baseball family.
Team IMPACT is a non-profit organization, chartered to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses. Throughout the northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest, the organization creates unparalleled team based support systems for these children and their families.
Core to the Team IMPACT model is harnessing the power of teamwork by matching these courageous kids with college athletic teams. Team IMPACT children are drafted onto local athletic teams and, to the greatest extent possible, become an official member of the team for the duration of their treatment and beyond.
Matt was born with Hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid inside the skull that leads to brain swelling, or "water on the brain." He had a shunt placed when he was five days old to drain the fluid. He was healthy, but when he was about five years old, he had his first shunt revision. This was the second of 98 brain surgeries that Matthew would have over the next 10 years, half of which occurred between seventh and ninth grades.
Matt was introduced at the press conference by his mom, Ann Kocsis, who is also a graduate of Dickinson College. She spoke about Matt's excitement to be joining the team, and about his plans for the future. Matt is interested in being a motivational speaker, looking to provide great inspiration to others. He also looks to inspire with his actions as well, planning to someday run the Boston Marathon.
The Dickinson baseball program is honored to have Matt join the squad and the players are excited about spending time with their new teammate this spring. Matt will attend practices, games, team meetings, meals and team functions as a member of Red Devil baseball team.