ATHENS, Texas (KLTV) - Over 100 athletes attended Saturday’s fifth annual softball benefit with all proceeds going towards supporting Cami, a 4-year-old living with health issues.
East Texas News spoke with the family who said this year’s tournament helped lessen the medical bills to treat Cami’s cancer.
Cami threw out the first pitch, and players from far and near played to support and raise funds for Team Cami.
“So, we always make sure that we play this tournament; she deserves it,” said Chad Barina, a participant. “She’s a fighter. She’s incredibly strong of what she’s going through and how she’s fighting it. It’s awesome to come out here and show her support and give her some fight back.”
Cami was born with Down syndrome and was diagnosed with leukemia last August. Mother, Cynthia Clements travels with Cami to Dallas every two weeks for scheduled doctor visits. She said these events are helpful.
“These tournaments, they help you get through the year until the next tournament,” Cynthia Clements said. “You have co-pays, you have to eat when you go to Dallas because that’s the only children’s hospital around here. It’s the closest one to us actually.”
With many softball players participating for their first time, Kori Miller, explained why she decided to come out and play.
“It was just for a little girl, a little girl and her mom who needs help,” Miller said. “We all came to help, plain and simple. It made us all feel really good to actually do something.”
Cythina Clements said she’s grateful to have the community rally together for a good cause.
“It’s hard to put it into words sometimes,” Cynthia Clements said. “Your heart is overflowing with emotions of gratefulness and thankfulness.”
Stephanie McNeil travelled from the Dallas area to participate in her first Team Cami softball tournament. She said this tournament means a lot to her.
“My grandmother was a breast cancer survivor, so now she has passed, but I still come out and play with the cancer warriors here,” McNeil said. “So, it’s even more special because it’s my hometown, and I can come give back as much as I possibly can.”
Cami’s uncle, Jimmy Clements, explained why it’s important to continue these types of benefits.
“With the pandemic going on of course and everything else in the world, cancer is not going to stop,” Jimmy Clements said. “It’s going to keep on going. It’s one of the reasons why we have these benefits.”
Thirteen teams participated in this year’s tournament.
The family has a PayPal account for monetary donations.
For more ways to help team Cami, click here for more information.