The Illinois State University Softball Team has a new recruit from central illinois and she’s already making a huge impact on the team.
On Monday the ISU softball team gathered to watch the highly anticipated signing of 8-year-old Coen Frambes.
Coen is a part of Team IMPACT which is a Boston based non-profit organization that connects children facing chronic illnesses with their favorite local college athletic team.
“Coen has juvenile dermatomyositis,” said Coen’s mother Kelly Frambes. “It’s a rare autoimmune disorder where her autoimmune system sends mixed messages to and instead of fighting the bad germs, it fights her own muscles and her skin and her blood vessels.”
But even with the illness Coen is continuing to battle and with her signature on the ISU National Letter of Intent, she is now officially part of the ISU Softball Team.
“It’s awesome,” said Freshman catcher and 3rd baseman, Ellie Weltha. “It’s really extremely eye opening for me to see someone going through something and always having a smile on her face. It makes you really look at life in a different way.”
Team IMPACTS’ mission is to improve the quality of life for children like Coen, but Head Coach Melinda Fischer says it’s Coen who is improving the team.
“Being a college athlete is a tough job,” said Fischer. “It’s hard, it gets grinding at times and then you look at someone like Coen who goes through what she goes everyday and I think that puts things into perspective.”
Fischer says the lessons the team is learning from her are invaluable , but Coen’s dad, Dave Frambes, says this is a two way street.
“Being around all the softball players, the team, the staff and everything, she realizes there are more people than just me (Coen), that are trying to accomplish things in life,” said Dave.
This weekend will be Coen’s first home game as the ISU Redbirds take on Southern Illinois.