SBU hockey welcomes new inspiring team member

St. Bonaventure University's men's hockey team signed their newest member on Saturday. He is younger than most of the team, but he has a lot of heart to make up for it.

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. -- St. Bonaventure University's men's hockey team signed their newest member on Saturday. He is younger than most of the team, but he has a lot of heart to make up for it.

Matthew McGuinness, 15, was diagnosed with Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis a year ago. FSGS is a disease in children that leads to kidney failure. At the time of his diagnosis he had less than 5 percent kidney function.

Matthew requires daily dialysis and will eventually need a transplant, but that hasn't stopped his love for hockey.

Matthew is a part of Team IMPACT, which is an organization that works with children by matching them with local college athletic teams. Through Team IMPACT, Matthew was able to sign on with the St. Bonaventure University Bonnies.

The Bonnies signed Matthew to a National Letter of Intent on Saturday. This gave him a lifetime membership to the team.

When Matthew signed his letter, the St. Bonaventure's Athletic Director, Rob DeFazio welcomed him to the team.

"In football the 12th man is very big and in hockey it's the number six," DeFazio said, "so you'll always be our sixth man even though you won't be on the ice playing. We've got your back, and you'll have our back."

Matthew was honored at the Bonnies game Saturday night and was able to drop the ceremonial puck before the game.

The team hopes that being a part of the team can lift his spirits after a very long year. Matthew says that he is very excited to be a part of the Bonnies, and he says he feels like he's "one of the team now." 


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