SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- It was a special day at Springfield College for a little boy battling Cerebral Palsy.

12-year-old Matty Pepe was drafted onto the wrestling team on Tuesday, and it was all made possible by a group called Team Impact.

Team Impact is a non-profit that connnects children facing serious or chronic illnesses with college athletic teams.

Matty's mother, Kari, said it's been an amazing journey so far as they waited to see what team they could be paired up with.

She said the team has been very welcoming by working Matty into their practices and finding different things they have in common.

The family said they're looking forward to what's next.

"He's doing pretty well. He's you know, a happy kid, very social which is nice. He looks forward to coming. We're going to head to the football game Saturday. He's excited about that," said Kari Gracie.

"I hope they take something out of this and understand how important this is to give back and help support children like Matty," said Wrestling Coach Jason Holder.

Since 2011, Team Impact has matched nearly 1,600 children with more than 500 colleges and universities in 48 states.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 


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