ELLABELL, Ga. (WTOC) -The Bryan County community along with teams from as far away as Jacksonville, Fla. spent their Saturday at Hendrix Park to celebrate a life gone too soon, and a hope to strike out childhood cancer once and for all.
27 youth baseball and softball teams took the fields in Ellabell for the third annual “Playing for Parker” tournament.
“God really used our community and our family to really come together and to help us," said Rachael Lane, Parker’s mom. "They were in the hospital with us, they were out here working with us, it was amazing. It was awesome.”
Baby Parker was born in July of 2016 and was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. She lived just four-and-a-half months.
The first tournament was put on by the community to help pay for Parker’s mounting medical expenses.
Her parents have since taken over the tournament, growing it each year to help other local families affected by childhood cancer.
“It’s nothing more than amazing to see all these other families come together to do this with us and we also have kids out here that are fighting childhood cancer themselves- Nevaeh from Effingham County- she’s here and she actually threw out the first pitch in our softball games, so it means the world to me to see all these people come together for a good cause," Lane added. "Parker would have loved it.”
What made the day even more special for the Lane family- Parker’s big brother, Levi and his team playing in the tournament.
His first at-bat of the game he had a base hit and a stolen base.
The family’s strength through adversity is found in a small baby girl.
"She taught us strength. She taught us love. She’s said more with not saying anything, than any other child I’ve ever met. Yeah, she was pretty awesome,” Lane tearfully told WTOC.
You can find more information about Playing for Parker here.