Youth baseball dedicates one of its leagues to boy battling cancer

A young boy who’s been battling cancer since he was four years old has missed out on many opportunities to play the sport he loves. Now, Cape Coral Cal Ripken Youth Baseball is dedicating one of its leagues to him.

Tuesday was supposed to be Adyn Pickett’s return to the baseball diamond. He was all set to play again but, doctors had other plans. So, even though he won’t be with on the field this year, he’ll still be a part of this baseball season.

While 9-year-old Adyn Pickett’s name won’t be on a roster, it will be mentioned every time someone sets foot on this field to play this season that bears his name.

James Pickett is Adyn’s father. “To him, it means that he’s still part of the team even though he’s not able to play right now,” said James.

Adyn has missed the game he loves because he’s been battling leukemia for the past five years. He has relapsed seven times, gone through chemotherapy and battled through all of it.

Aydn in the hospital
Credit: Erica Pickett

“He’s breezed through many things. Two transplants multiple procedures traveling to Philadelphia and back and other areas. But the last three months have been the most difficult,” James said. This is because Adyn’s doctors discovered that he’d relapsed for the eighth time.

This most recent relapse has stopped Adyn’s return to baseball. “It bums him out that he can’t be on the field playing but you know we’re doing the best we can with what we’ve been given,” said James.

Now, they’re supporting the team that is supporting their family. And that team includes more than fifty other families impacted by cancer. Chris Risola is the Cal Ripken Youth Baseball League’s Deputy District Commissioner. “Hopefully we can get him to be just a kid for a little while and he can fight again tomorrow but let’s let him be a kid as long as we can.

As part of the dedication ceremony, players from the Minnesota Twins Organization played a friendly game of Wiffle ball with the children. Adyn finally got the chance to get back into the batter’s box.

He also ran the bases with a little help from his dad. “To see him out here today, just enjoying life, smiling, laughing that’s what we live for. For these days like this,” said James.

Adyn’s dad says today was not the best day for Adyn. His legs were hurting and he’s been a bit down because he cannot play this season. But, James says as soon as Adyn saw everyone there to support him, he knew it was going to turn into a better day for his son. And it was because Adyn was smiling and laughing.

Reporter:Zach Oliveri
Writer:Drew Hill
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