Valpo Softball Welcomes Andie Kalemba to Crusader Family
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Valpo Softball Welcomes Andie Kalemba to Crusader Family

It’s a special day in any athlete’s career when they get the chance to sign with a Division I school to continue playing their chosen sport. Monday evening, the Valparaiso University softball program –in conjunction with Team IMPACT – had the opportunity to welcome a very special new member into the team in a moving signing ceremony, as 12-year-old Andie Kalemba signed a Letter of Agreement to officially be drafted into the Crusader squad and immediately become a part of the Valpo program.

Andie, a native of Saint John, Ind., was diagnosed with Fanconi Anemia – a rare genetic condition which affects many parts of the body - when she was just eight months old. People with Fanconi Anemia may have bone marrow failure, physical abnormalities, organ defects, and an increased risk of certain cancers. She went through a bone marrow transplant on April 3, 2008.

Andie was paired with the Valparaiso University softball program thanks to the work of Team IMPACT, a nonprofit that creates team-based support systems for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses. The idea of the program is to improve the quality of life for the children, as well as to give them an opportunity to experience the team atmosphere and have some fun. Team IMPACT looks to have children drafted onto a local college team, and following that, the team invites its newest team member to games and practices, forging a relationship that continues over time.

Over the last few weeks, Andie had the opportunity to meet the Crusaders and attend some practices, but Monday served as her signing ceremony to officially join the Valpo program. Joined by her parents – Stan and Michelle – as well as Crusader softball head coach Kate Stake, Andie put pen to paper, becoming a part of the Valpo softball program and a Crusader for life. Following her signing, some of her new teammates presented Andie with various items of gear, including her own personalized jersey, and then the team put Andie to work right away, taking her to the gym to teach her some of the team’s drills in a brief practice session.

Over the next few months, fans can keep track of Andie’s time with the Crusaders by following at The page will be updated with photos, videos and posts as the team spends time with Andie and truly welcomes her as part of the Crusader program!