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Penn State Softball Adds Member To The Family With Help From Team IMPACT

Penn State softball is getting a key addition to its family this season.

The Nittany Lions announced that Aunnah Nagel, a 14-year-old battling neurofibromatosis, will be part of the squad thanks to the help of Team IMPACT, a national nonprofit that connects children facing serious or chronic illnesses with college athletic teams.

“Once you sign this, you’re part of our family for the next two years,” head coach Amanda Lehotak said at Aunnah’s special singing day on Wednesday at the Nittany Lion Softball Park. “We want you to be part of our games, our practices, our team meals and dinners, and we’re fully committed to you.”

Aunnah was first diagnosed with neurofibromatosis, a condition that causes tumors to form in the brain, spinal cord, and nerves, in 2003. The past few years have been particularly tough — a surgery to remove a tumor from her brain three years ago took away her ability to recognize facial expressions and a car accident last year caused her symptoms to worsen.

While it certainly hasn’t been easy for the Lewistown, Pennsylvania, teen, being a Nittany Lion is going to be a bright spot. The most exciting part of the experience for Aunnah is getting to be part of this group.

“I wanted to be part of a team and say that I’m part of a team and just have friendship,” Aunnah told WTAJ.

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About the Author

Steve Connelly

Unfortunately, former editor Steve Connelly has graduated. Where is he now? He might be doing something related to that PR degree he got in 2019. Maybe he finally opened that sports bar named after one of his photos, the Blurry Zamboni. Or he might just be eating chicken tenders and couch surfing. Anything’s possible. If you really want to know, follow him on Twitter @slc2o.

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