Fundraiser for 13-year-old battling cancer
Cape Coral, Fla. - "We wanted to do it at the field that he's grown up playing at," said Courtney Kneri, 13-year-old Doug Hutchison's baseball coach.
Since his rookie first year, Kneri says Doug has shared some of his best memories at the Pelican Baseball Complex in Cape Coral.
"He's learned a lot about discipline and team work. He's had a lot of fun here," added Kneri.
It's where friends and family of Doug, described as caring and kind, turned out for a fundraiser in his honor.
"It will help me ease the struggle on paying hospital bills," said his father, Doug Hutchison.
In October, Doug was diagnosed with cancer, Non-Hodgkin Burkitt's Lymphoma.
"The day that we found out that he had cancer, he says, 'I'm not going to cry' and i said, 'It's okay to cry that's a natural reaction'." And he said, 'No I'm not going to cry because i don't want to make you sad'," explained Doug's mom, Donna Hutchison.
"I'm very proud of the way he's handled it," added dad, Doug.
Kneri came up with the idea before Doug started chemotherapy last year.
"We came up with the homeland derby at his home field and started getting donations and promotions," explained Kneri.
All leading to today. Bounce houses, baseball and activities for the community.
"It just really means a lot to see everyone out here and showing all their love," said Chelsea Hutchison, 21, Doug's sister.
After four rounds of chemo, Doug is now cancer-free.
"He sacrificed a lot," said his father, Dough. "But he also knows that the light is here at the end of the tunnel we reached it."
A difficult journey the family has endured one step at a time.
"I'll say one word, hero," concluded Doug's father. "He's my hero"