Last week, at a minor league baseball game in San Jose, what some might call a miracle transpired.
Lyndsey Dworkin, a 12-year-old cancer survivor, was at the game to throw out the first pitch, and afterward had the chance to talk with San Francisco Giants player Brandon Belt. Brandon is currently in rehab and playing on the San Jose team for his rehabilitation.
Brandon promised Lyndsey he would hit a home run in her honor during the game, and the girl smiled at the thought of the lofty gesture. Then, a short while later, he did exactly that.
“We go up into our seats, it was his first time at bat, and he hits it out of the park,” Lyndsey’s mother Kristine, who was also at the game, tells Ellen’s Good News. “We were all shocked… Lyndsey is an athlete ordinarily -- she’s well aware you can go out in your sport with the best intentions in the world but sometimes the odds aren’t in your favor.”
This time, however, they were, or as Brandon later put it, Lyndsey served as his good luck charm. Later, the MLB player had the ball fetched from the parking lot, signed it and sent it up to Lyndsey in the stands.
“She was absolutely floored, grinning from ear to ear,” Kristine recalls. “She told the TV news reporter recently that this whole situation made her forget about her cancer fight for a little while. It erased it.”
Last January, Lyndsey was diagnosed with a brain tumor known as medullablastoma, and has gone through surgery plus 31 radiation treatments and 9 rounds of chemotherapy over the past 16 months. She will receive quarterly scans to check on her status for the next three years, one of which is today. If she comes out clean, all her physical restrictions will be lifted.
While the road has been difficult for the young girl and her family, Kristine says it has been moments like the magic at this baseball game that have given her daughter new life.
“Opportunities like this are very exciting to people in Lyndsey’s predicament,” Kristine explains. “They can become life preservers even. They give you something to march towards.”
Brandon's kindness extended even further than last week’s game. He also invited Lyndsey and her family up to San Francisco to watch the Giants at batting practice.
“She’s completely overjoyed,” Kristine adds. “We hear so often about the bad boys of the sports world, and all the ridiculously stupid illegal things they do. Rarely do you get to witness a moment about the pure spirit of what it’s all about. That was the most awesome thing about this.”