Youth baseball dedicates one of its leagues to boys battling cancer


A young boy who has been battling cancer since the age of four has missed many opportunities to play the sport he loves. Now Cape Coral Cal Ripken Youth Baseball is dedicating one of its leagues to him.

Tuesday was supposed to be Aydn Pickett’s return to the baseball field. He was ready to play again, but the doctors had other plans. So while he won’t be with the field this year, he will still be a part of this baseball season.

While 9-year-old Aydn Pickett’s name won’t be on the list, it will be mentioned every time someone sets foot on this pitch to play this season that bears her name.

James Pickett is Aydn’s father. “For him that means he’s still part of the squad even though he’s not able to play right now,” said James.

Ayden missed the game he loves because he’s been battling leukemia for five years. He relapsed seven times, had chemotherapy, and endured it all.

Credit: Erica Pickett

“He’s been through a lot. Two transplants from multiple procedures traveling to Philadelphia and back and to other areas. But the last three months have been the toughest, ”said James. This is because Aydn’s doctors found out that he had relapsed for the eighth time.

This most recent relapse halted Aydn’s return to baseball. “It saddens him that he can’t play on the pitch, but you know we’re doing the best we can with what we’ve received,” said James.

Now they support the team that supports their family. And this team includes more than fifty other families affected by cancer. Chris Risola is the Assistant District Commissioner of the Cal Pripkne Youth Baseball League. “I hope we can make him just be a kid for a little while and he can fight again tomorrow, but let’s let him be a kid for as long as possible.”

As part of the dedication ceremony, players from the Minnesota Twins Organization played a friendly game of wiffle ball with the children. Aydn finally had the chance to get back into the batter’s box.

He also ran the basics with a little help from his father. “Seeing him here today, just enjoying life, smiling, laughing, that’s what we live for. For these days like this, ”James said.

Aydn says today wasn’t the best day for Aydn. His legs were aching and he’s a little depressed because he can’t play this season. But, says James, as soon as Aydn saw everyone there to support him, he knew it was going to get better for his son one day. And that was because Aydn was smiling and laughing.

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