The slogan is “Undefeatable,” a word Jennifer Parsons said is fitting to describe Fairfield Warde junior Giacomo Brancato.
Brancato, who plays for the Warde boys’ basketball and baseball team, was recently diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma — a cancer of the lymph tissue in the autoimmune system.
This Tuesday at the Warde vs Ludlowe basketball game, T-shirts with Brancato’s name and ‘Undefeatable’ will be available to purchase in support of Brancato and his fight.
“When I think of Giacomo and when anyone things of him as an athlete in Fairfield, he’s just undefeatable,” said Parsons, a Brancato family friend whose son Marcel also plays on the basketball team. “He is always the top scorer and he’s so humble. He’s always the one to watch. And I started saying to Giacomo, you’re undefeatable on the court and off the court, on the field and off the field.”
Parsons said she was made aware of Brancato’s diagnosis when she called his mom, Mirella a few weeks ago to check in and see how a recent doctor’s appointment for a sore throat for Giacomo went.
Brancato’s diagnosis came back as Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Parsons said cancer affected her family’s life over two years ago, so she knew what the Brancatos will be up against.
“I know first-hand on how it changes your life from that moment forward,” Parsons said. “In my mind, you’re a friend, you show up.”
The T-shirt idea came to Parsons as a way to help the family with the medical bills.
“Immediately I thought, ‘What can I do to try and help offset the costs?’” she said.
With the help of a local Fairfield graphic artist, a black T-shirt was designed with Brancato’s name on the front with the word ‘Undefeatable.’ The back of the shirt has his jersey numbers for each sport he plays.
Parsons said shirts will be available to purchase for $15 at the game on Tuesday as well as an order form if they run out. The Authentic Athlete in Fairfield will also be selling the shirts with all proceeds going toward the family.
The girls varsity game between Warde and Ludlowe is set to begin at 6 p.m. and the boys will follow with a scheduled 7:45 p.m. tipoff at Ludlowe. Parsons said both the girls and boys will be wearing the shirt as warmups. Ludlowe expressed an interest to wear them as well in support.
Parsons said Brancato has been cleared to play by doctors in the game tomorrow, but is not sure if he will play due to how he is feeling.
“Being a team is not just what goes on a court, it’s being supportive, being there for one another,” Parsons said. “For the kids, this gives them something. Ludlowe desiring to wear the shirt, what a sight that will be. For them to come together for a greater cause and purpose, that is beautiful.”