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8-Year-Old Signs With William Jessup

September 16, 2013

By: Jeff Bussell, William Jessup (Calif.) Sports Information Director

ROCKLIN, Calif. William Jessup University men's soccer coach Robbie Handy, in partnership with Team IMPACT, announced the signing of Jahaan Sandhu to the Warriors program.  Sandhu, an 8-year old from Lincoln, Calif., signed on the WJU campus in front of his new teammates, his family, and a number of Warrior fans on Saturday, Sept. 7.

Sandhu was diagnosed with Bilateral Retinoblastoma—a rare form of pediatric cancer of the eye when he was 3-years old.  Diagnosed with tumors in both eyes, Sandhu's doctors did everything they could to save his vision and were able to save one of his eyes.  They did have to remove his left eye and replace it with a prosthetic that he will have for the rest of his life.

Following surgery, Sandhu completed five rounds of chemotherapy and is now in remission.  With an increased risk of future cancers, he has an annual MRI and will continue to have them for the foreseeable future.  As a result of his medical journey, Sandhu deals with a number of challenges both socially and psychologically and will greatly benefit from the boost he will receive from his new teammates and coaches.

Sandhu, whose favorite athletes are Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps, also loves kick ball, playing video games, and is still perfecting the skill of tying his shoes.  He is thrilled to join the team and cannot wait to meet all of his new teammates.

WJU sophomore Cody Cantrell is excited to have Jahaan join the team.  "He is a great kid and an inspiration to us.  We will have to face many challenges in our season and none of them compare to the challenges Jahaan had to face at such a young age," Cantrell said.  "His strength to overcome his obstacles gives us strength to compete every day."

Sandhu joined the Warriors on the bench for his first game on Saturday.  The Warriors fell to Marymount California University 3-2. Sandhu will attend all home games, a few practices and team events throughout the year.  WJU players will stay connected with the Sandhu family through text messages and by calling Sandhu to encourage him each week.  

Team IMPACT is a non-profit organization chartered to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening illnesses, creating unparalleled team-based support systems across the country.  The foundation of Team IMPACT is harnessing the power of teamwork by matching these courageous kids with college athletic teams.  Team IMPACT children are drafted onto local college athletic teams and become official members of the teams for the duration of their treatment and beyond.

For more information on Team IMPACT, visit www.goteamimpact.org.