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Greer Adult Baseball League's opening night is going to be a tearjerker

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Sunday, July 30, 2017

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Caitlin was one day away walking onstage at her graduation ceremony when she was diagnosed with a rare cancer.
 
 

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Caitlin was one day away walking onstage at her graduation ceremony when she was diagnosed with a rare cancer.

 

 



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Chad and his father, JL Hart, often talked about organizing an adult wooden bat league.

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Chad and his father, JL Hart, often talked about organizing an adult wooden bat league. "Playing with a Purpose" is a cause Chad is promoting, in his father's memory, to benefit children with cancer.

 

Opening night of the Greer Adult Baseball League is going to be a tearjerker.

Chad Hart, self-appointed commissioner of the Adult Baseball League, has organized the Greer Adult Baseball League that begins play Aug. 4 at Stevens Field.

Hart makes it clear it’s his passion to play in an adult wooden bat league but there are some special circumstances surrounding the opportunity to help the league stand up to cancer. Hart's wife, Jamie, is handling all the administrative details, while also managing four children.

Chad’s father, JL Hart died last August of cancer, and a missing piece of Chad’s life was to fulfill a dream father and son often talked about – a Greer wooden bat league for adults. The beneficiary of the non-profit league will be children battling cancer.

“JL had a love for baseball like no one else.,” Chad said. “He also had the biggest heart out of anyone that we have ever known.  When the league transformed from just a dream to a reality we wanted it to have a purpose.”

Chad calls it “playing for a purpose”.

Caitlin Nicole Smart, 18, and her family will be honored on opening night.

“We wanted (the league) to mean something more than just men that love the game getting to play again now that they are older,” Chad said. “And with that we decided that each season we would find a family in the Greer community that has a child that is battling cancer and devote each season's openings night’s festivities and earnings to that family. 

Chad tells Caitlin’s compelling story:

“Catlin started having severe pain and complications after eating in mid-May. She was diagnosed as being anemic on May 16. Little did she and her family know what battle lay ahead in just a few short days. 

“Caitlin was diagnosed with Leiomyosarcoma on May 30 –  the day before she was to walk the stage for Greer High School graduation. Her parents, Trevor and Addie are also Greer High graduates.”

Leiomyosarcoma is a rare cancer. About one person in 100,000 is diagnosed with this cancer. It is typically diagnosed in adults 50 years and older. Smart’s cancer started in the top if her stomach and has metastasized into her liver. 

“Her doctors described it as Caitlin is battling an adult cancer in a child's body,” Chad said. 

“She was supposed to attend the College of Coastal Georgia this fall but her need for treatment has since had to put this on hold,” Chad said.

Caitlin is being treated at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. She will be there a minimum of three to six months for ongoing chemo treatments. 

Chad Hart and his wife, Jamie, are planning an opening night that will celebrate Caitlin and raise support for the family. Jamie Hart will be in attendance.

A Go Fund Me is set up to help the family with expenses. 

Donations are being accepted for opening night.

 

 

 

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