Yash Krishnan, cross-country ‘draftee’

Yash Krishnan, 8, has a rare medical condition, Biallelic mismatch repair deficiency, that makes him more likely to develop certain cancers.

He has been in and out of hospitals for the past year for treatments. But he’s a fighter, and this past week, he became something else: A member of the UNC cross-country team. Freshman runner Mady Clahane wanted “to do something” for pediatric cancer patients at UNC Children’s Hospital.

The upshot? The Athletic Department communicated with the hospital, and they got hooked up with Team Impact, a Boston nonprofit that works to improve the quality of life for seriously ill children. This week, the cross country team held a “Draft Day” press conference to announce Yash was on the team.

“We are so fortunate to have been able to participate in this event,” cross-country head coach Mark VanAlystyne said.

And we feel fortunate to be able to reach a few miles down U.S. 15-501 to give this week’s Durham Grit Award to Yash Krishnan.