Collision Could Not Rob CH Softballer Of Love For The Game

The short list of loves in Jarah Wright's young life is topped by two things: her family and softball.

"It's just in my blood," Jarah explains from the dugout. "I've played it since I was five years old. I just fell in love with the game and never have wanted to stop."

But it was during a softball game that Jarah's life was changed in heartbeat

"I was running to second (base) and I slid," Jarah said. "The helmet came off and I hit my head on the ground and then the girl landed on me. I was unconscious for a couple of seconds."

After the collision, doctors would find several lesions on Jarah's brain.

"She's been diagnosed with a neurological disorder," her mother Janna said. "(It) causes her heart to race and it causes blood to pull in her extremities. She was stumbling, she was walking into the walls, and it was just scary to watch her lose balance and her memory was terrible."

Doctors would also discover a pre-cancerous tumor in Jarah's chest. She had surgery and was treated for her neurological disorder at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Ten days after she was released from the hospital, she played in Chapel Hill's first district softball game of the season.

"After you've been playing it so long and you dedicate yourself to it, you don't want to give up," Jarah said.

Jarah not only plays for Chapel Hill, she plays for a select team in Bullard and coaches the third and fourth grade girls of Chapel Hill. It all adds up to about 16 hours a week of just practice.

Watching her from the stands, her mother was brought to tears.

"I'm extremely proud of Jarah and her accomplishments," Janna said, "not only on the softball field but her determination not to give up on life. I truly believe that it's a miracle that she went from major surgery, ICU, Mayo Clinic and now she's running around catching softballs. "

Doctors say Jarah is functioning at about 90 percent these days but with medication and continued treatment, she will be able to cope with her disorder. 

Jarah said she had to relearn a few things on the field, but she has learned a much deeper lesson about personal strength.

"I think I have more perseverance and momentum than I thought I did, just because to be back to play the game, it's good for me."

Jarah is one of the select few players to receive an invitation to the 2007 Sparkler Showcase All-Star Games. The country's top players will be seen by college scouts and work with college coaches.