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Merrimack welcomes Caleb Hassan to men’s hockey team through Team Impact

Photo: Merrimack Athletics

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Continuing what has been a rich department-wide tradition that has enhanced the quality of life of children facing serious and chronic illnesses, the Merrimack College men’s ice hockey team is excited to announce the addition of Caleb Hassan to its roster effectively immediately in conjunction with the Team IMPACT program.
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Caleb officially signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) as part of a special draft day ceremony hosted by the program on campus Thursday night. Head coach Mark Dennehy, as well as the entirety of the team, were on hand to celebrate the momentous occasion and invited Caleb and his family to a special dinner afterward.

Caleb becomes the latest relationship that brings together Merrimack Athletics and Team IMPACT, which enriches the lives of young children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses through the power of team. Caleb, 10, hails from nearby Haverhill, Massachusetts, and as a member of the team he will attend Warrior practices, games, team dinners, special events, and much more throughout the year.

The union is particularly special for the men’s ice hockey program, which forged a relationship with Tim Burke back in January of 2012 as one of Merrimack’s very first Team IMPACT partnerships. Burke has been a well-documented example of the Team IMPACT philosophy at its finest, as he has been involved with the program over the last six years as he overcame his battle with leukemia and was recently accepted to Merrimack College for the fall of 2018.

After Burke’s initial match, the athletic department has continued to pair nearly all of its teams with at least one Team IMPACT connection; Caleb becomes the 22nd match among all varsity programs at Merrimack, among the most from a single school nationwide and the most by a Division II institution.

Caleb was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis shortly after he was born. He has daily treatments that are necessary to help deal with the effects of his CF. Caleb also has frequent doctor visits which often lead to inpatient hospital stays. Though many obstacles have come his way, he continues to overcome the hurdles and is sure to be an inspiration to the Warriors in the weeks and months ahead.

Merrimack is back in action tomorrow night in a key conference matchup against the University of Connecticut, and Caleb will nearby cheering on his new teammates for the first of what promises to be many games.

About Team IMPACT
Team IMPACT is a national nonprofit headquartered in Boston, MA that connects children facing serious or chronic illnesses with college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes. Since 2011, Team IMPACT has matched more than 1,300 children with more than 500 colleges and universities in 47 states, reaching over 35,000 participating student-athletes. The child joins the athletic team and the student-athletes join the child’s support team. Throughout the journey, the child gains strength, camaraderie and support while the student-athletes experience lessons of courage, resiliency and perspective they can’t learn in a classroom.

For more information on Team IMPACT, please click here.

Mike McMahon is in his 12th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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