Two Brothers, One Love for the Game

by Brenda Shepard

Joshua and Jack are brothers. Both love baseball, but one has a rare genetic disorder called Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS), which could keep him from playing. Thanks to the Santa Anita Little League Challenger Division, now they both can.
“Joshua will be getting a chance to play baseball, just like his big brother,” said John and Jessica Kitterman, parents to Joshua & Jack. “We certainly give credit to the Santa Anita Little League for their desire to serve their community in this way.”
According to the Santa Anita Little League, “The Challenger Division offers boys and girls with physical and mental challenges, ages 5 to 18 (or up to age 22 if still enrolled in high school), the opportunity to participate in an organized game of baseball. The most fundamental goal of the Challenger Division is to give everyone a chance to play.  Another goal will be to provide a “buddy” for every Challenger player.”
“The hope is that this will help players without disabilities understand how vital it is for children, like Joshua, to have the opportunity to play and experience the game just like everyone else,” said Jessica. “It will be a great way to raise awareness regarding CdLS along with other disabilities to the community.”
The league opener was held on Saturday, February 22nd and was met with great appreciation.
For more information, or to donate to the league, please contact Mike Lang, President, through the SALL website: www.santaanitall.com.  For more information about the CdLS Foundation or to make a donation, call the CdLS Foundation at 800-753-2357 or visit www.cdlsusa.org.
About CdLS: Cornelia de Lange Syndrome occurs in about 1 in 10,000 births. An estimated 20,000 people in the U.S. have CdLS but remain undiagnosed and/or without support services. Individuals with CdLS range from mildly to severely affected, though most have similar physical characteristics including small size, hands and feet; thin eyebrows that meet in the middle; long eyelashes; an upturned nose; and thin, downturned lips. Some individuals have limb differences, including missing fingers or arms. Common medical problems include GERD, bowel obstruction, hearing loss, and congenital heart defects. Early diagnosis and intervention are essential to ensure proper management of related medical issues.
About the Foundation: Founded in 1981, the Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Foundation is a national family support organization that exists to ensure early and accurate diagnosis of CdLS, promote research into the causes and manifestations of the syndrome, and help people with a diagnosis of CdLS and their families make informed decisions throughout their lifetime.

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