An Amazing Story that you Must Read!

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Thanks to FSN Wisconsin and TSB Milwaukee Brewers expert Trenni Kusnierek for passing along to me this inspirational and emotional story from yesterday’s Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Here are some excerpts from and the link to Mike White’s in depth feature story on John Challis which will likely leave you with watery eyes.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08125/878966-85.stm

The 18-year-old kid dying of cancer gets his wish, a chance to swing a bat maybe one last time in a real baseball game.

He hasn’t played in a few years, but he’s called on to pinch-hit. His eyes light up at the first pitch and he puts all of his 5-foot-5, 93-pound frame into one mighty swing, making contact and sending a line drive into right field for a single — if he can reach first base. The cancer he’s been battling for almost two years has spread to his pelvis, making running nearly impossible….

Actions and statements like those are what has inspired so many others. All of Aliquippa’s baseball players wear John’s jersey number “11” on their hats. At the walk-a-thon, Aliquippa star athlete Jonathan Baldwin, a Pitt football recruit, presented him with a ball signed by Pitt players.

After the walk, John addressed the crowd.

“He spoke from his heart,” Mr. Wetzel, the coach, said. “He said, ‘I’ve got two options. I know I’m going to die, so I can either sit at home and feel sorry, or I could spread my message to everybody to live life to the fullest and help those in need.’ After hearing that, I don’t know if there were many people not crying.”……

Six days later, Freedom played a game at PNC Park. John attended the game, but had an IV line in his arm for a treatment he was getting. He took out the IV line and asked Mr. Wetzel if he could pinch-hit again.

“Unbelievable. He told me the doctor said he could take it out for up to seven hours,” Mr. Wetzel said. “He told me he just wanted to be a normal kid one more time.”

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  1. amazing story!

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