CHARLESTON, Ill. (WTHI) - Life hasn't always been easy for one young basketball player in the Wabash Valley. She got special support from a team that she'll never forget.
"We want you to know that you now have 13 sisters that have your back no matter what. We will be here to celebrate your great days and we'll be there to cheer you up on your tough days." Eastern Illinois women's basketball sophomore guard Kira Arthofer spoke these words to one lucky girl this special night.
Miriam Bohner is a 12-year-old from Casey, Illinois. She's battling Type-1 diabetes. It's a daily struggle, but tonight she was made part of the team. Through the nonprofit organization Team Impact, she officially signed with the Eastern Illinois women's basketball team. It's something that EIU head coach Matt Bollant says makes everyone smile.
"You know through basketball, we are meant to give back and help others," Coach Bollant said, "You know these guys have been given so much getting a full scholarship and now, you get to go love a young lady and hopefully have a great impact on her life and I know she'll have a great impact on our kids too."
Miriam's parents Jay and Valentina were smiling from ear to ear throughout all the festivities. They told Sports 10 that they appreciate the loving embrace from the women's basketball program to make Miriam feel so welcome.
"They've really gone above and beyond," Miriam's father Jay said, "The players have been awesome and have really embraced her like she's a teammate. It's been great for her self confidence and we really, really appreciate all that they are doing here."
It was a full night for Miriam in Charleston. She signed her national letter of intent as Eastern Illinois' top recruit for 2020, she got special recognition at halftime with the team, and she even got her own locker with heartfelt notes from all the players.
Miriam told Sports 10 that this was truly an unforgettable night.
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