NISKAYUNA, N.Y (NEWS10) – An 8-year-old Niskayuna boy diagnosed with leukemia is now in remission after five rounds of chemotherapy and six months of care at Boston Children’s Hospital. To mark the occasion, a Major League Baseball team asked him to throw the first pitch.
Jack Salinetti was sporting his Red Sox cap and had his glove at the ready as he prepared for his big moment at Fenway Park. He strode to the pitcher’s mound, took off his hat, and waved it to the crowd. The audience roared in response to the gesture. He stepped back for the windup and strike! Jack threw it right down the middle, and the crowd cheered even louder.
That day at Fenway Park was a welcome change for Jack. He has spent the past six months at Boston Children’s Hospital, practicing his batting skills in the hallways.
Last Halloween, his parents noticed something was wrong with Jack; he was too tired to trick-or-treat. After a blood test, Jack was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia—cancer that causes abnormal blood cells in the bone marrow and can spread quickly.
The Salinettis wasted no time. They traveled from Niskayuna to Boston Children’s Hospital in hopes of getting Jack the best care possible. He bravely went through five rounds of chemotherapy.
After six long months of care and countless baseball games in the hallway, Jack and his family received news that he was in remission. On Friday, doctors and nurses gave Jack a send-off from the hospital. They cheered and held streamers in the air as Jack walked through, saying goodbye to his lengthy stay at Boston Children’s Hospital.
The hospital and Dunkin’ Donuts coordinated the pitch that kicked off the Boston Red Sox and Seattle Mariners game the next day. His fast ball at Fenway Park seemed to seal the deal on a new chapter for Jack.
A few days later, Jack and the Salinettis traveled back home to Niskayuna, right where they should be. He will return to Boston Children’s for monthly checkups. He continues to dream big and said he hopes to become an engineer, a professional athlete, or maybe a doctor someday.