JAIDEN presented with the number 12 game jersey. Jaiden will wear number 12 on the sidelines all season as the team’s official twelfth man. He, his parents, and Coach Heaton all signed Jaiden’s letter of intent to make the decision official. Jaiden and the team then shared cake and ice cream to celebrate his big decision.
Jaiden’s decision to play with Adams State came only days after he and his parents came to campus for a recruiting visit. Several of Jaiden’s new teammates showed him Rex Stadium where the Grizzlies play their home games. They also bonded with Jaiden over a shared love of video games and Pokémon. Jaiden then joined the entire team for a barbeque.
Jaiden’s experiences with Adams State athletics are made possible by Team IMPACT, which stands for Inspire, Motivate, and Play Against Challenges Together. Team IMPACT’s goal is to create relationships between kids with chronic or life-threatening illnesses and athletic programs. Children are signed onto college sports teams, where they become an official team member throughout their treatment. Jaiden will be an official member of the Grizzlies football team until he turns 15.
When he was six years old, Jaiden was diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Just a few years later, he was diagnosed with Stiff Skin Syndrome, an extremely rare disease characterized by hard skin covering the body, likened to turning the skin to stone. Jaiden is only the 41st person to ever be diagnosed with this disease. Currently, he is undergoing chemotherapy to help combat the disease.
Jaiden and the football team begin their season tonight when the Grizzlies host Oklahoma Panhandle State University at 7 p.m. at Rex Stadium.

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