COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Texas A&M men's swimming & diving program had the honor of adding Drake Medinger to the program through Team IMPACT this weekend, hosting his official Signing Day after practice on Saturday morning.
“I think this is a great experience for our team,” said men’s head coach Jay Holmes. “Cancer is something that affects all of us. We have Ethan Gogulski who's going through chemo right now as we speak, and this just brings us even closer. I think sports teaches us that we're going to have our own kind of fight that we’re all going to go through. I think our team is going to get a lot more out of this, and I hope Drake gets something out of it as well. We're able to spend time with him, and he's able to spend time with us. We're looking forward to having Drake be with us, and I think it's going be fun having him around. After he gets to know us and spends time with us, our guys will get more out of spending time with him than anything else. I'm really looking forward to that experience for everybody in the program.”
Drake was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2012 and fought for almost three years, going through chemotherapy and other cancer treatments to eventually beat the disease. In 2016 it was discovered that the cancer returned, but he was determined to continue his fight. Despite additional health setbacks, Drake never stopped fighting and was able to beat cancer for a second time in 2018.
As a member of the team, Drake will attend practices, meets, team dinners, and more—serving not only as their teammate, but as an inspiration.
Team IMPACT is a national nonprofit headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, 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 nearly 1,900 children with more than 600 colleges and universities in 49 states, reaching over 50,000 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.