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Johnson & Wales signs 9-year-old Daine Johnson

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- As a nationally ranked program, the Johnson & Wales University wrestling team is very selective in its recruiting. Nine-year-old Daine Johnson's fight and determination caught the attention of JWU head coach Lonnie Morris and on Monday he was officially signed to the Wildcats through Team IMPACT.

Daine Johnson
Team IMPACT is a national nonprofit headquartered in Boston that connects children facing serious or chronic illnesses with college athletic teams, forming lifelong bonds and life-changing outcomes. Since 2011, Team IMPACT has matched more than 2,000 children with more than 700 colleges and universities in 48 states, reaching over 55,000 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.

A native of North Providence, RI, Johnson is courageously batting Osteogenesis Imperfecta. Also known as brittle bone disease, Osteogensis Imperfecta is a genetic disorder that mainly affects the bones. It results in bones that break easily. The severity may be mild to severe.

As a team member, Johnson attends JWU practices, meets, team dinners, events, and more. He's served as honorary captain at both Wildcat home meets this winter.

Ranked ninth in the country, the Wildcats will go for their fourth-straight NCAA Northeast Regional championship, Feb. 29-March 1, at Rhode Island College.

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