published: Friday, February 01, 2013
FRANK JOLLEY | Staff Writer
The CFL Redhawks are giving of themselves to help a family whose son is battling a rare form of stomach cancer.
At the same time, the Lake County Travel Baseball Club, is giving area fans an opportunity to get an early jump on the season without leaving the county.
The Redhawks are hosting a daylong tournament, beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Mount Dora Babe Ruth Complex, with proceeds raised from gate receipts going to benefit Jorden Aponte, an 11-year old cancer paitent who plays in the Dr. Phillips Little League system in Orlando.
Kimberly Gordon, an official with Redhawks, said a gate fee $3 will be charged for fans wishing to attend Saturday's games, which will be given to the Aponte family.
In addition, a Home Run Derby will be held. Entry fee for the Home Run Derby, which is set to begin at 1 p.m. on Field 2, will be $5, Gordon said.
Last year, the Redhawks raised $500 for the family through admission fees. The Redhawks also donated a wood bat to the boy.
Teams ranging in age from 8 to 13 will playing on all four fields at the complex.
Aponte has been battling Desmoplatic Small Round Blue Cell tumor, a rare and aggressive form of cancer.
DSRBCT was first described by pathologists in 1989. According to published reports, DSRBCT appears to attack young, healthy patients with few warning signs.
Tumors often can grow and spread uninhibited within the abdominal cavity, growing to enormous size before being noticed.
Multiple medical journals state the five year survival rate for those stricken with DSRBCT or DSRCT is about 15 percent.
Aponte's family described their son as a lifelong baseball fan and said he has not let cancer or the subsequent treatment keep him off the field.
In fact, the boy's family said he celebrated his birthday Sunday by playing in a tournament his team -- the Dr. Phillips Predators -- and went 4-for-6 with three walks, four runs scored and two RBIs.
Following the tournament, Aponte traveled to Houston, where Dr. Hayes Jordan performed surgery Wednesday to remove a tumor that had been growing inside his abdominal cavity, according to information posted on the family's website, japonte1.com.
They said the doctor deemed the procedure a success and the family said Aponte is cancer free.
"(Jordan said the tumor) appeared dead," the family wrote. "She said (the tumor) was thick, milk like and is usually seen with blocked intestines. Jorden's intestines were not blocked, but there was an area that had fused together and this was causing his pain.
"She separated the tissue and looked around everyplace else ... all is clear."
The family indicated Aponte could return to school in about a month, "once he is healed and can have his port removed."
Other activities during the tournament will be use to raise funds for the Redhawks, including a pair of raffles and a concession stand with standard ballpark fare.