Terminally ill 11-year-old throws first pitch at Tri-City ValleyCats game
TROY, N.Y. -- NaSeaph Williams, 11, a terminally ill boy suffering from Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba Syndrome, threw the ceremonial first pitch at Wednesday's Tri-City ValleyCats game.
Williams, of Saratoga Springs, was wheeled onto the field before the ValleyCats face-off against the Lowell Spinners at 7 p.m. in Joseph L. Bruno Stadium.
"My son has been very ill for a while and on a lot of harsh meds and this gives him a day to say ‘ya know, I don't want to do that right now,'" said his mother, Billie Young.
What he wanted to do was spend time with his friends and family, a special outing put on by The Starlight Childrens Foundation, a group that brings together sick children and their families for trips around town that can bring smiles to their faces.
"The starlight kids have many different diseases, and many times more than one. Maybe each child doesn't know what the other has but know we're all in this together," said social worker Lori Kidd.
For the last year, Williams has been confined to a wheelchair. He has his good and bad days, and Wednesday's chance on the mound was one of the better ones.
"He has never looked at it like 'why me, or why is this happening'. Most recently, things have gotten a bit worse and sometimes he says ‘mommy I didn't ask for this,' but I tell him God only chooses the special ones, and this is obviously because you are very special," said Young.
Williams recently asked to receive food for the hungry in lieu of birthday presents. He was later rewarded with a trip to the Patriots' stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts where he had the opportunity to try on a Super Bowl ring, received a special message on the scoreboard, and was surprised by a special visit from Tom Brady.
More than 125 other seriously ill children also attended the event, which began with a BBQ at 6 p.m. As part of the "Great Escapes" program of the Starlight Children's Foundation, the children will have the chance to enjoy a night of fun, food and baseball. During the seventh-inning stretch event, they will also take the field to sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."
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