As the 2016 baseball season is now underway, the stands at Hi Corbett Field will start filling up to watch us take the field. Visitors might not realize it right away, but there will be an important person missing from our team: Josh.
Josh was diagnosed with gliosarcoma, which is essentially a tumor in the brain. This rare type of tumor is generally only found in adults between ages 40-60, so to have it be found in a teenager is very unusual. The fact that Josh was only a couple of years younger than some guys on the team made us realize how truly fortunate we are to be able to play the game of baseball.
We initially came to contact with Josh through the Team IMPACT program which involves children with life-threatening illnesses joining a collegiate team. Through this program we were lucky enough to spend time with Josh, who frequently made it out to practices and games to cheer us on and to hang out with us in the clubhouse.
His charisma and the smile he brought with him to the field was something that we all enjoyed to see and it really did make our day. We felt the need to show support of Josh in a bigger way, since he did the same for us. The plan was to join up with Vs. Cancer Foundation and be able to show Josh that we support him at the games. Unfortunately, days before the season got underway, we received the tragic news that Josh had passed away.
“Do It 4 Josh” has been implemented to our team mission statement for 2016 to help honor him. Josh was truly an important part of our team and a special person. His love of sports and enthusiasm will be something we remember forever. Alongside with half of the donations going towards cancer research, Josh`s parents wanted to use the other half towards “creating experiences” the children can have with their family at our local children’s hospital in Arizona. Josh loved going to sporting events and receiving exclusive access with his family, so they believe making these kinds of family experiences will be more powerful than a straight donation to the hospital. Each event would be unique depending on the patient.
Thank you to Josh`s family for allowing us to spend time with your son and the incredible chance to make an impact on his life. Words cannot describe how much of an impact Josh had on ours.
The 2016 University of Arizona Baseball Players