8-year-old boy battling rare heart disease signed by the Charlotte 49ers

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The newest member of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte's baseball team is not your typical recruit.

During the Charlotte 49ers practice on Wednesday, the team announced the signing of an 8-year-old boy who battles with a rare illness.

Xavier, who suffers from Truncus Arteriosus which is a rare form of heart disease, was "adopted" as an honorary team member for life. The adoption ceremony was the Charlotte boy's "official welcoming party to the team."

Xavier was able to meet all of the coaches and players. He even got a chance to participate in the team's practice.

During his news conference, Xavier mentioned that he wanted to play on third base so he had the opportunity to hang out with starting third baseman Jackson Mims.

"Xavier's been looking forward to this all week...We're just grateful. We're really grateful," Xavier's dad said.

The new team member also got to throw the first pitch at Wednesday's softball game.

Xavier and the Charlotte 49ers were joined by the nonprofit, Friends of Jaclyn Foundation. The foundation's mission is "to improve the quality of life for children and their families battling pediatric brain tumors and other childhood cancers." The foundation also spreads awareness through their Adopt-A-Child, Safe on the Sidelines and Guardian Angel Programs.

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