Taking the field with the Whitehouse Young Guns, Dean Beard appears to be a healthy 14 year old boy. Earlier this year, something just didn't feel right.
"I had trouble breathing," said Beard.
A trip to the doctor in February, came with unexpected news.
"He woke and came out of the anesthesia," said Dean's father Noe Garcia. "At that point, that was the first thing out of his mouth. 'Dad, do I have cancer?'"
The answer was yes. Beard was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma.
"I was in shock when they told me," said Young Guns coach Wes Lawrence.
"When all this was going on, he (Beard) questioned it." said Garcia. "He said 'Dad can I play?' I told him, 'As long you feel good you can play.'"
Despite four rounds of chemotherapy and continued radiation in Dallas, the 14 year old shortstop has yet to miss a practice.
"It helps my mind not to think about it at all," said Beard.
Beard doesn't want any sympathy on the baseball field.
"He has cancer but that's that not who he his," said Lawrence.
Beard's courage has inspired his parents, coaches and teammates.
"He humbles all of us," said Lawrence.
With Lawrence leading the charge, the Whitehouse Baseball and Softball Park will host a benefit tournament, June 21. Proceeds will go to Dean's medical expenses. The team is also having a fundraiser at Raising Cane's June 19. Between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. 15 percent of every order will go to the Beard family upon request.
"We've had a lot of support and donations from a lot of people," said Lawrence. "It's tremendous what a community does for a child."
"When Dean fights, we all fight," said Garcia. "It's a proven fact. We're all fighting together with Dean to beat cancer and we will beat this cancer."
"I have no doubt," he said. "He's too strong not to."
If you are interested in entering a team for the Dean's Day Tournament, you can contact Wes Lawrence at 903-920-6409. The tournament is for tee ball, machine pitch, U10 and U12 teams.