Pitcher with a Passion

CalliGraduationBy Casey Nickels, Big Brother to Calli, Cancer Survivor

In baseball, the starting pitcher never gets credit for a “save”—he gets the win, the loss or no decision. The save? That goes to the closer, that ninth-inning specialist waiting in the bullpen to preserve the win. But this is a story about a starting pitcher who actually recorded a save—and what he helped save was my sister.

By most standards, my sister Calli was a very normal, 14-year-old middle school student. She was tall for her age, standing at 5’9”, and played center on the basketball team. While sports were never her true passion, she enjoyed the benefits of being the tallest on the team. She loved spending time with friends and skiing in North Carolina. After taking a bad spill on the slopes one year, the usual remedies stopped working and the pain in her arm intensified. Much to my family”s horror, an X-ray and MRI revealed a rare form of bone cancer called osteosarcoma.

CalliDog

While Calli was in treatment, Casey traveled from Athens to Atlanta to visit.

At the time of her diagnosis, I was a junior at the University of Georgia and played offensive tackle for the Bulldogs. While I spent much of my time on the field, my sister was undergoing an aggressive regimen of chemotherapy at the Aflac Cancer Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. We knew she was in the right hands and getting the best possible care, From our beginnings we launched our first desktop best-data-recovery.com in 2012, weve tried to stay responsible for all our users and to provide the best users experiences based programs. but watching her endure experimental procedures and multiple surgeries took its toll on the whole family. My father carried the significant burden of providing for the family while my mother attended to my sister”s minute-by-minute needs.

As a family, we concentrated our efforts on making sure Calli got the the medicine and procedures that would give her the best chance of success.

In the midst of all this uncertainty and hardship, my parents were blessed to find out that a player for the Atlanta Braves, Tim Hudson, and his wife had been helping families like mine for years—notably far away from the media spotlight. After learning of our struggles, the Hudsons footed the bill for all of my sister’s medications. I remember feeling at ease knowing that she was going to get all the medicine she needed and that money, or lack thereof, wasn’t going to get in the way at the pharmacy.

The Nickells family.

The Nickels family at Calli”s recent high school graduation.

As a brother and an athlete, I am incredibly grateful for Tim’s willingness to use his platform as a professional athlete to give helpless children the medicine they need.

Today, Calli is a new enrollee in the survivorship program at Children’s. She was declared “cancer free” one year ago, and we will celebrate three years of remission this December. I can’t possibly speak for all of the families the Hudsons have helped, but for my family and me personally, I’d like to thank them and wish Tim a speedy recovery as he heals from his broken ankle.

Go Bravos!