New York Red Bulls sign little girl with rare disease on one-day deal | inside World Soccer

Major League Soccer outfit New York Red Bulls on Thursday fulfilled dreams of a young fan with a rare genetic disease when they signed her to a one-day contract.

Irelyn Maloney was presented with her own locker and jersey, and got to play a small game with the team after practice at the team's training facility in Hanover, New Jersey.

The little girl was born with Familial Mediterranean fever, or FMF, a rare genetic disease that causes recurrent fevers and inflammation in the abdomen, chest and joints.

The disease has damaged her spinal cord, which prevents her from playing sports. She also has an autoimmune disease, which puts her at an elevated risk to contract other illnesses.

"If she could play soccer every day, and every minute of every day, she would," Irelyn's mother, Shannon, told the club's website.

"She wears her cleats to school, she wears her cleats to the food store and to the doctors. She just absolutely adores it."

After catching a Red Bulls training session with her family, the new signing showed off her skills on the pitch.


Red Bulls' General Manager Marc de Grandpre added: "We're happy to provide her with this opportunity because she loves soccer.

"She's an inspiration to all of us. Her parents are an inspiration, and her sisters.

"To give her a moment on the field with the players, and to put a smile on her face, it's important to us. It's the least we can do as an organisation."

To learn more about Irelyn and her family, or to see a list of upcoming events and fundraisers on their behalf, check out their Facebook page.

Here's photos from Irelyn's special day with the Red Bulls.

New York Red Bulls sign Irelyn Maloney on one-day deal
New York Red Bulls sign Irelyn Maloney on one-day deal
New York Red Bulls sign Irelyn Maloney on one-day deal
New York Red Bulls sign Irelyn Maloney on one-day deal
New York Red Bulls sign Irelyn Maloney on one-day deal
New York Red Bulls sign Irelyn Maloney on one-day deal
New York Red Bulls sign Irelyn Maloney on one-day deal
Photos: Facebook/newyorkredbulls

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