Cancer Patient To Throw Out First Pitch At Rangers Game
By CASEY MURPHY
Tyler Little Leaguer Collin Boyd will throw out the ceremonial first pitch tonight at the Texas Rangers game.
Boyd, who turned 9 on June 9, was nominated for the honors by Carter BloodCare.
He was diagnosed last spring with undifferentiated soft tissue sarcoma and recently finished 25 treatments of radiation and his fourth round of chemotherapy. Tests scheduled for Tuesday will confirm whether his tumor can be removed.
Boyd recently finished the third grade at Owens Elementary School and is the son of Kalisha and Jimmy Boyd. He has been playing baseball since he was 4 and his favorite player is Texas Ranger Josh Hamilton.
He was able to meet the slugger at a game on May 15. "This little guy, Collin, came to see me at BP (batting practice) today," Hamilton tweeted. "Join me in praying for him. He has a battle to fight."
Collin Boyd hopes he will get to see Hamilton again Friday, Jimmy Boyd said.
"He's very excited" about throwing the first pitch, his dad said. "He's been practicing every day."
Jimmy Boyd said 87 people -- mostly friends and family from Tyler -- will meet at Lanes Chapel United Methodist Church this afternoon and take a charter bus to the stadium in Arlington, where the Texas Rangers will face off with the Minnesota Twins after Boyd throws the first pitch at 7:05 p.m.
Tonight is Carter BloodCare Night at the Texas Rangers ballpark.
Carter BloodCare's volunteer donors provide lifesaving blood for patients at more than 200 health care facilities in 58 counties in North, Central and East Texas. It is the largest not-for-profit community blood center in Texas.
Yesenia Olide, public relations manager for Carter BloodCare, which is based in Bedford, said the organization has partnered with the Texas Rangers before, but today will be the first Carter BloodCare Night at the Ballpark. Every person who donated blood in June received a buy-one-get-one-free Texas Rangers ticket offer and she said tonight they plan to highlight the donors and recipients.
Ms. Olide said they chose Collin Boyd to throw out the first pitch because he is very involved in the local community and his family has held multiple blood drives in his honor. He also is a blood recipient and a patient at Children's Medical Center in Dallas.
"They (Rangers) are very excited to have him (Collin)," she said, adding that Collin Boyd submitted a list of players he would like to meet before the game. "Collin is going to get to meet some of his favorite players."
Carter BloodCare will have a blood drive from 4 to 8 p.m. outside the stadium at the Home Plate entrance.
"Collin represents our recipients of blood transfusions," Ms. Olide said, adding that there are 600 to 800 per day in its service area, which includes Tyler.
"We would love to thank the Tyler community for being involved, not only in Collin's life, but the lives of many patients in East Texas," she said.
On May 12, about 270 Rose Capital West Little Leaguers played baseball in an all-day tournament to help raise money for the Boyd family in its fight against cancer.
"It makes me feel really good that all these people care about me" Collin Boyd said during the tournament attended by hundreds of people. "They want to help me get better."
Collin Boyd participates in the Rose Capital West Little League, playing for the Blue Jays team and also plays select baseball with the Tyler Diamond Jaxx.
"We would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to the Tyler community for embracing and supporting our family during this difficult time in our lives," the Boyd family wrote in a letter to the
Tyler Morning Telegraph
after the tournament. "From the moment our son Collin was diagnosed with cancer this spring, we have received an outpouring of prayers, thoughts, phone calls, gifts and donations from so many people in the community.