EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

November 1, 2012

Merrimack's little brother

Mom says team has been 'savior' for son with leukemia

(Continued)

Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy also had heard rumblings about Team Impact.

“Three different people in one week had incredible things to say about the organization and what they do,” Dennehy said. “It’s like a stock tip or a recruit. If you hear it from one person, that’s one thing. But when several people say the same thing, it makes you think.”

By the time Team Impact came to North Andover to make their pitch to Dennehy, Merrimack was all in.

“They had me at hello,” Dennehy said. “I immediately knew this was for us. I knew our team would leap on this.”

Merrimack officially “drafted” Timmy at a Team Impact ceremony with other kids and college teams last January at the Frozen Fenway weekend at Fenway Park, a year after his diagnosis. The captains of every team announce their “draft” pick and they are given a team jersey to immediately wear.

The bright yellow Merrimack Warriors jersey fit Timmy like a glove.

“That was a great night,” says Timmy.

The college teams are expected to cull a relationship with their “draftee,” keeping in contact with them throughout the season, inviting them to games and practices.

“I drop him off in front the rink at 5 p.m. (before a 7 p.m. game) and he wants no part of me,” Mary Burke said. “He knows his way around the rink over there. He hangs around inside the locker room before the game, as if he’s on the team.”

According to Timmy’s mother, Merrimack has gone above and beyond expectations.

“It is unbelievable,” she said. “Sure, he’s been to almost all of the home games and some practices. But what that team has done for Timmy, especially during some tough times, especially when he’s been on steroids. They put a smile on his face.”

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