Youth baseball tournament raises money to help families of patients with childhood cancer

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Hephzibah, Ga (WJBF)- A special event to help some very special patients at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia took place through the weekend.

The fourth annual Strike Out Cancer baseball tournament happened in Hephzibah at Cal Ripken field. The event benefits Victorious Reagan and Friends, an organization that raises money to support families affected by childhood cancer.

Reagan Milford was just two years old when she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Some friends organized a baseball tournament to raise money for the family while she was in treatment.

Jaime Milford is Reagan’s mom and Co-Founder of Victorious Reagan And Friends. She said that when your child gets sick everything is on hold, including work.

“What people don’t understand about childhood cancer, like in Reagan’s situation, there were times that she was inpatient in the hospital for five or six days at a time, after she just finished five days worth of clinic, chemo. So that’s ten days out of work,” said Milford.

Richard Hand is a longtime friend of the Milford family and a board member for VRF. He said that Reagan’s diagnosis was devastating to everyone who knew her and that he knew he had to do something to help.

“We actually had Reagan come from the hospital the first tournament after getting treated. No hair, face mask on. And I told the people at the tournament, this won’t be the last year we ever do this,” Hand said.

After a few years of the financial support from the tournament, Reagan’s family decided they no longer needed the help, but wanted to continue the tournament to pay it forward.

“And so that very small population of childhood cancer families don’t have the support that they need. And so when we were sitting in clinic one said I just said you know what? We were led on this path to do it. And so God has led us on this path to help other families,” Milford explained.

And Victorious Reagan and Friends was born.

Ryan McCook is another longtime family friend and a coach for one of the baseball teams. He got visibly emotional when he spoke about the importance of supporting the families and patients of childhood cancer.

“It’s hard. It’s hard as a kid, you know, you don’t know exactly what to do at two years old. You put it in your parents hands. And then on top of the bills that they have it’s tough to live life with this going on,” said McCook.

Many families come to CHOG for treatment from out of town. The foundation has helped by covering travel expenses, lodging,and even ipads to help keep younger children entertained.

“And we want to help those families do everything. It’s about not losing the hope and we can provide that,” said Milford.

And as for Reagan…

Milford beams. “Reagan is in remission for two years now. She is cancer free and it’s all because of our Children’s Hospital of Georgia.”

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