By Cleve Bryan

LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ (CBS) — The Rider University Women’s Basketball Team has been learning a life-lesson about rebounding from a girl with a serious illness.

Eleven-year-old Savanna Galasso from Mercerville is battling a kidney disease known as FSGS.

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After dialysis couldn’t stop kidney failure, she had a transplant in January, but unfortunately the disease came right back.

“It’s tough at times taking the medication, it’s a lot she takes like 15-20 in the morning and then again at night,” says her mother Dana Galasso.

About a month ago Savanna was invited to a women’s basketball game at Rider University.

Through a non-profit called Team Impact Savanna and the team were paired up for a mentoring program.

Members of the team instantly bonded with the girl and her infectious smile.

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“She’s one of us regardless of her age, she’s just like us,” says player C’Quoya Haughton.

“It’s great to see how she can still smile even though she’s going through all that stuff so it really just makes you want to smile and do so much more for everyone else,” says player Julia Duggan.

Wednesday night, with the help of Team Impact, Rider had a draft party and officially signed Savanna as an honorary member of the team.

“When you look at a young whose been through what Savanna has had to go through over the years it keep things in perspective, gives us maybe a little more motivation,” says coach Lynn Milligan

Dana Galasso couldn’t be happier about her daughter’s new relationships.

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“It’s like big sisters for her to look up to and that’s what she needs.”