“My favorite thing is swimming,” said Wyatt Dewitt, a five-year-old who had the time of his life being drafted as a member of the West Virginia University Swimming and Diving team on Saturday morning.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for Wyatt to do something that he may not otherwise get the chance to experience being part of a sports team or later on being part of a college or university sports team,” said Netty Parker, Wyatt’s mother.
This was made possible through Team IMPACT which is a national nonprofit that connects children facing serious and chronic illnesses with local college athletic teams.
Wyatt was born with Spina Bifida and Chiari 2 Malformation.
“He does not have control of the use of his legs, from his mid thigh down, He uses all of his upper body strength to control his lower legs, and then Chiari 2 malformation is, he has basically a herniation of his brain stem,” said Netty.
“He’s so cute. He loves life. Nothing he complains about. He’s just always so happy and appreciative to be on the deck and it kind of just carries off and brushes off on us. And just shows us not to take things so seriously and just appreciate the opportunity we have,” said Ryan Kelly, member of the WVU swim team.
By signing his name on the official certificate, Wyatt is now responsible for attending home meets and practices as his schedule permits, while sporting a WVU shirt to cheer on the Mountaineers.
“Its absolutely amazing, he’s just, he talks and talks and talks about it. You can see a twinkle in his eye,” said Keith Parker, Wyatt’s father.
“It means so much. The students, all of them have been so amazing and warm, and welcoming, and he even talks about it when we’re at home. They keep up to date with him. The leadership team does with e-mails and messages, it’s been very encouraging for him,” said Netty.