Vanguard University baseball team drafts 8-year-old boy who battled leukemia

Anabel Munoz Image
Thursday, November 30, 2017
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A nonprofit organization gave 8-year-old Dario Teran a boost of confidence by pairing him with Vanguard University's baseball team after coming out of a battle with leukemia.

COSTA MESA, Calif. (KABC) -- It's been more than three years since Dario Teran was diagnosed with leukemia.

"It was definitely the worst day of our lives when we found out," said his mother, Alejandra Teran.

But September marked the 8-year-old's last treatment-- the cancer is in remission.

Nonprofit, Team IMPACT, paired the aspiring pitcher with Vanguard University's baseball team. The organization said it's matched more than 1,300 children with hundreds of colleges and universities across the country.

The Lions baseball team held a ceremony and a news conference to announce their top pick.

"We look for guys that are selfless and relentless," head coach Rob Pegg said. "And we know Dario is a relentless competitor and fighter, and he's shown that already."

Dario got a jersey with his favorite number and signed his letter of intent as his new teammates cheered him on.

"This is the one sport that we wanted to do before he got sick," Alejandra said.

She hopes the new brotherhood will strengthen Dario's self-esteem and body, both of which took a hit with chemotherapy. It seems his new big brothers are already getting Dario out of his shell. He was all smiles and even fielded questions during the news conference.

"To hear a kid that's gone through so much look up to us, it's something that kind of gives you the chills," said Lions baseball player, Shane Elias-Calles.

Team IMPACT is looking for more children to sponsor. It's a two-year program between the team and a child's family. The goal is to give them optimism, confidence and a sense of belonging.