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'When we come here, I’m not different': Miracle League returns after COVID break

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Posted at 3:04 PM, Feb 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-21 18:36:23-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The empty Miracle League ball field at Shillito Park in February is one thing. But not having anyone here to play games here over the last two years during the summer months was quite another.

“It’s been tough for the families, but tough for us because we look forward to being involved with it,” said YMCA Miracle League organizer Kevin Haury.

For the last two seasons, COVID-19 chased the Miracle Leaguer players back to the clubhouse. Two entire seasons were lost because of the virus. While we all sacrificed and surrendered so much during 2020 and 2021, for these kids it felt like more. Because for so many of them, the ball field here is their only outlet to being active and social.

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“When you take that social aspect away from a kid who doesn’t have it, they shut down,” said Sabrina Smith, sharing that that’s exactly what happened to her son Brody.

Brody has been playing in the Miracle League for six years. He has cerebral palsy, which compromises his immune system, so even life at home wasn’t normal for a while.

“His Dad is a firefighter,” Sabrina said of her husband. “So we were quarantined for a while from him. We did door visits, and for most of that first summer, it was just me and him,” she explained.

Naturally, Sabrina is excited to have this outlet back too.

“When we come here, I’m not different. We’re all parents, and all have different battles, but our kids are here for the same reasons,” she said.

The 2022 season begins in 47 days, and as usual, the student-athletes from Lexington Christian Academy are ready to lend a hand.

“It’s always rewarding for our students. Just to see the smiles on Brody and those other athletes, it just warms our student-athletes’ hearts,” said LCA Vice Principal Keith Galloway.

Galloway added that some of the LCA students, when not helping out a Miracle League player on the field, might just come by to help make the cheering section a little more raucous than normal. It’s a total team effort to put this season on each year. Now they’re all ready to get back to it. Especially Brody.

“I’m pumped. I missed it,” he said from his spot near home plate, where he said he likes being at bat more than fielding.

He then “ran” the bases. It was a round trip Brody had waited far too long to make, and mom waited far too long to witness.

“Makes you appreciate life now, so much more than I think all of us did before (COVID),“ Sabrina said.