UTRGV Volleyball’s Honorary Vaqueros

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EDINBURG – UTRGV volleyball has signed their shortest recruits in program history.

And it’s for a great reason.

Seven-year old Madison Flores was diagnosed with Leukemia in November of 2015. Today’s signing ceremony was put together in support of Flores and her family.

“Jumped at the opportunity,” said UTRGV volleyball coach Todd Lowery. “I think it’s such a great opportunity for the young ladies to have to be around our kids and I think it’s going to be great for our kids as well.”

Thanks to a non-profit called the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, UTRGV and Madisen’s family were connected.

Today’s ceremony was the start of a partnership this season between Madisen’s family and the Vaqueros.

“It was amazing,” said Madisen. “I loved it so much. It was a great experience.”

Madisen already knows one of her teammates. Her older sister Alysen was also named a new, honorary member of the team.

Alysen has been by Madisen’s side throughout her battle with cancer.

“She’s always been super brave,” said Alysen. “We’re always loving her and always protecting her.”

As honorary team members, Madisen and Alysen will have the chance to spend time with their older teammates at practice, games, and team events.

And yes, they even received their own jerseys.

“I have a lot of sisters already and I’m always willing to have another one,” said UTRGV freshman Carter Helmcamp “It warms my heart that we get to have another sister in our lives and another friend.”

“I was telling them all about the university and we even researched the spot,” said Madisen and Alysen’s mother, Banesa Flores. “They were really excited. It’s just so awesome to get that special attention. They’re just thrilled.”

After two and a half years of battling leukemia, Madisen and her family got some great news in January. Doctors said she was cancer free.

Madisen rang the bell at the Vannie Cook Clinic in McAllen and she’s now in remission.

Today’s signing was more good news for the Flores family, that’s now a part of the UTRGV family.

“I just felt very special,” said Madisen. “I just really loved it.”

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