Siblings with serious illness gets drafted to the Yale softball team

NEW HAVEN – The Yale Softball Team got two new members Friday night.

They might be small in size but have meant a great deal to the players that have developed a special bond with them.

This was made possible by the national nonprofit organization known as Team IMPACT. Their mission is to pair student-athletes with children who have been diagnosed with a serious illness.

Hailey Greist, 6, and Edwards Greist, 7 of Stratford became an official Bulldog player Friday night. What many do not know is they both battle a serious illness known as Common Variable Immune Deficiency.

“When they get sick, they get really sick,” said Lisbeth Greist, Hailey and Edward’s mother.

Through Team IMPACT, the siblings can attend practices, games and team dinners.

“The whole idea of a team really emphasizes teamwork and that they’re not in it alone that we’re there and we’re a family and I just think that’s a great support system for them to have,” said Shelby Kennedy, a Yale Softball player.

Lisbeth said she wants her kids to learn how to work with others. “You know, it’s working hard together and just really what a team is.”

She said when Hailey and Edwards get sick, they will spend up to three weeks in the hospital getting infusions. During tough times, she said the players have offered a ton of support.

“The kids really enjoy coming to the practices and just hanging with the team and you know, texting with the team,” added Lisbeth.

The players and spent a lot of time last year and created many memories, something they hope to continue.

“There’s been a little batting and watching the players practicing,” said Hailey.

To make it official, the siblings signed their Letter of Intent and were presented with the official Bulldog uniforms.

Through the journey, Lisbeth hopes her kids can gain strength while the players can experience the feeling of resilience firsthand.

“They make softball fun again,” added Kennedy.