BA Baseball Continues Support for Cancer Patient Talan Williams
BA's baseball team continues to rally around eight-year-old Talan Williams who is fighting cancer. The team was recently featured in a story on the Brentwood Home Page and in a video produced by Reformance, a sports apparel company.
BA baseball team steps up to the plate for ill elementary school student
Talan Williams is a local kid who loves playing baseball, cooking and his friends. He likes playing video games and has a dog named Moxie. His favorite school subjects are math and writing. In many ways, he's just like any other eight-year-old. Except most eight-year-olds don't have Ewing's sarcoma, a bone cancer that's caused Williams to undergo 11 rounds of chemotherapy and eight weeks of radiation treatment.
The Crieve Hall Elementary School third-grader was diagnosed in March of this year, and will find out in October if the cancer is in remission. Doctors say he has an 85 to 90 percent chance of success.It'd be easy for anyone with cancer to give up on their dreams for the future, of which Williams has plans for professional baseball, joining the Navy SEALS, and even being a sous chef.
He credits his mom, Ashley, for supporting him and doing things like making healthy green smoothies that he needs, special treats of fudge pie on Sundays, as well as keeping nurses in line.
But Williams has also found a support system in the Brentwood Academy varsity baseball team led by assistant coach Daniel Cage, who also coached Williams at Crieve Hall. Once Cage found out about Williams' cancer, the BA players immediately took to his story and dedicated a slogan, "Team Talan," and a baseball game to him in April.
"That game was probably one of the best experiences I've been a part of," BA junior and catcher Evan Beddoe said. "It's hard to put into words how it meant not just something to him, but something big to us, too."Williams announced the players from the press box and was able to hang out on the field with the guys, which quickly led to real friendships that continue on today.
"He's the happiest kid you'll ever meet," BA senior and third baseman Jay Stenga said. "He has this right to feel upset and hurt, but he puts on a brave face every single day. Hanging out with him makes you realize that whatever problems you may have are really insignificant."Friends all agree that Williams has a positivity that can't be matched. His resolute decision to "freaking kick cancer's butt," has inspired BA players and friends to live life with a similar attitude.
"It's always such a joy and a pleasure to be around him, he brings so much life to you," BA senior and third baseman Warren Preston said. "If he can be that positive with everything he's going through then it's like, why should any of us ever complain?"
"This isn't a service project for these guys," assistant baseball coach Chandler Ganick said of the friendships. "That's what makes this different. They're friends. There's no other way to see it."
Williams has a sunny, yet tough, outlook on what it's like to be a young person with cancer."I know a lot of people think this, but cancer, it's not that bad," he said. "I mean you go through chemo and all that, yeah that's pretty frustrating, but you learn a lot from it and you learn who your real friends are that stand up to the plate. It looks like it's bad, but it teaches you something. It teaches you who you are, and how special you are. I'll go through it as many times as it comes back and I'll fight through it."
To help raise funds for Williams, Crieve Hall Elementary School has partnered with Goodwill for a donation drive on Saturday, Sept. 26 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Acceptable donations include clothing, linens, accessories, paired shoes, books, electronics, sporting goods, housewares and toys.There are also early drop-off dates on Saturday, Sept. 12 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and Friday, Sept. 18 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Crieve Hall Elementary.
"I don't know why this happened to Talan, but God has a purpose for him," Cage said. "Life is tough, but it's the way you handle it that matters. There's no better example of that than Talan himself."To make a donation to the family or ask about how you can be on Team Talan, contact Daniel Cage at 615-812-7722.
Samantha Hearn reports for Home Page Media Group. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @samanthahearn.