This past weekend the K Cancer Baseball Awareness team headed down to Sevierville, Tennessee to represent us in the 14 and under Volunteer Regional Tournament. The team took third place and almost made it to the championship, losing the elimination game by one. The baseball is a lot of fun but weekends like this always end up being about so much more than that.
So the hotel where most of the families were staying had a tiny issue. Nearby road construction took out the water main to the area which left the hotel dead in the water (pardon the pun!). You find out a lot about folks when things don’t go exactly as they had planned! Imagine taking a trip you look forward to all year and the hotel loses water. How do you respond? How do you think the hotel staff were expecting everyone to respond?
Everyone had great attitudes about it. One of the team Mom’s (Kim Hesano) took the bull by the horns and worked with the hotel staff and our parents to find rooms for everyone at other hotels and also arranged for breakfast. Instead of screaming and hollering she rolled up her sleeves and made the best out of the situation for not only herself, but everyone else on the team as well.
Watching how Kim and all of the parents on the team handled the situation made me think about what we do. In no way am I comparing the hotel being out of water with a family facing childhood cancer, it just reminded me of HOW INSPIRING the families we have met who handle things the same way are to us! They face their situations head on and do the best with what they have. They take the bad as best they can, but they also make sure to take the good when it presents itself. They don’t let the challenges they face with their child totally define their experience.
So they figured out the hotel arrangements and we made it back for day two of the tournament. We had our awareness tent set up while our team played and we had several visitors stop by to ask about what we do. One opposing team coach even bought K Cancer Baseball shirts for his entire team! We had several umpires stop by and buy shirts. After our games were done on Saturday evening, the gentleman who ran the tournament for Gameday USA came up to us and said that they had been on our website reading about what we do and that they passed a hat (literally). He handed me over $100 to go towards our efforts! That money will go with everything we raise between now and July 27th to back “Team Sammy” in our Grudge Match with “Team Matthew” to see which team can raise the most money to fund a childhood cancer research project at Lurie Children’s Hospital in their name!
Wouldn’t it be cool if someone from one of the teams we played this past weekend (from several different states) stops and looks around their community to see if there are some needs that need to be met, and then tries to make a difference? That wouldn’t have been possible if the K Cancer Baseball group let the challenges of the weekend dictate their mood. When life gives you lemons…