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5-year-old girl with spinal tumor shares special bond with Harvard women's lacrosse team

5-year-old girl with spinal tumor has support Harvard lacrosse team
5-year-old girl with spinal tumor has support from Harvard lacrosse team 02:40

CAMBRIDGE - A 5-year-old Massachusetts girl in treatment for a spinal tumor has a whole lacrosse team supporting her, thanks to Team Impact.

"They don't let the tough moments define them"

Team Impact matched Tilly Danoff with the Harvard University women's lacrosse team when she was 3 years old, after doctors discovered a tumor pressing on her spinal cord. Tilly then underwent spinal surgery, a few weeks in the hospital and about 18 months of chemotherapy. The whole time, the Harvard Crimson was there for her and her older sister, Josephine.

"Even if it's just running on the field, they don't let the tough moments define them," said lacrosse player Grace Taylor. She said it's especially important for her because she was recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer. "We're learning so much from them every day and how to bring joy through those experiences."

Finding joy with donuts

Tilly and Josephine's parents own the popular Union Square Donuts. They would bring a box for the nurses for the Jimmy Fund every week, t make the MRI's and chemo treatments more bearable. Tilly's father said she would also share donuts with other young patients who were having a rough time.

Tilly has her own mini lacrosse stick and even her own locker at Harvard. She doesn't get many minutes on the field but she does make a major impact.

"They make every game and practice so much more fun," said Taylor.

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