In 2007 Cassidy Sidhu, a fourth grader at the time, fell from a play structure at school. While scans showed no injuries from the fall, doctors noticed an incidental lesion. They felt it was probably something that she was born with and that it would be best to just keep an eye out for any changes. Following the discovery of the lesion, Cassidy had follow-up scans every three months or so for a year. Each report showed no changes so the scans were reduced to every six months.
In November of 2009, Cassidy began experiencing headaches which became more and more severe. A follow-up scan indicated that the lesion had begun to grow. Cassidy endured surgeries to remove portions of the lesion and then began chemotherapy and radiation treatments in January of 2010.
A softball player since kindergarten, Cassidy was forced to give up the sport she loved when surgeries and treatments began. For two years in fact, Cassidy was in and out of treatment facilities and at times away from her classmates as she was too ill from the treatments to attend school. While the treatments were preventing the tumor from growing, it unfortunately wasn’t shrinking.
Following an MRI in October of 2011 Cassidy and her family received the news that they had been waiting on for over a year and a half. The tumor appeared to possibly be shrinking. Three months later another MRI showed that the tumor was in fact smaller than it had been in October.
In the Spring of 2012, Cassidy was well enough to return to the sport that she loves. The slugger played in the Folsom Softball Club’s Spring season. As the season came to a close, Folsom Softball Club President Tracey Levea came up with the idea to honor an individual athlete for their efforts away from the field. During the season’s closing ceremonies the following passage was read prior to the award presentation:
“Each season we see great softball players on the field, but what you may not know is the amazing things they do off the field. In an effort to recognize the great work our girls are doing in the community, we have started a new tradition by honoring one girl with the Inspirational Softball Player of the Year award.”
“Many of you may know this year’s winner’s story, but for those that don’t, it is truly inspiring. In 2009, one of our players was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor, which rocked not only her family and friends, but our entire softball family. We have a great softball community in Folsom and we rallied around her and her family. With her facing many invasive surgeries, aggressive radiation treatments, and debilitating chemotherapy, her days of playing softball with her friends were put on hold. After her courageous 3-year battle, and the support and prayers of her family and friends, she put on her glove, and stepped back on the field this Spring. She is a great athlete, but it’s her courage and strength off the field that continue to inspire everyone around her. She is a true hero. Ladies and gentlemen, not only is this player receiving the first annual award, but it is being named in her honor. I am humbled to present the CASSIDY SIDHU INSPIRATIONAL SOFTBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD to Cassidy Sidhu.”
Do you have original softball themed artwork, essays, poem or unique story that you would like considered for publication in a future magazine issue? Email it to email@example.com with your name, age and location.
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