December 10, 2015
Rider University's women's basketball team welcomed its newest member Wednesday: an 11-year-old girl who is battling kidney disease.
In partnership with Team IMPACT, a nonprofit organization chartered to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening illnesses, the Rider Broncs "drafted" and signed Savanna Galasso.
Galasso was diagnosed with a kidney disorder called FSGS at age 7. By July of 2013, she already had Stage V kidney failure and needed to start dialysis three times a week, according to a release from Rider.
On Jan. 20 of this year, Galasso underwent a transplant, but the disease came back in her new kidney shortly after. She is now on medication and taking part in a trial study to delay the need for dialysis.
"With all that Savanna battles through, she truly epitomizes what it means to be a fighter and is sure to be an inspiration to her new teammates and coaches," head coach Lynn Milligan said in a statement.
Through Team IMPACT, Galasso will be an official member of the Rider team for the duration of her treatment and beyond. She will attend practices, games and other events as an honorary member of the team.