Hall of famer Biggio invites cancer patients for a day of baseball fun

- Minute Maid Park was recently filled with dozens of cancer patients and their families.

The amazing thing is ... cancer was the last thing on anyone's mind.

As a Medical Reporter, Melissa Wilson has covered Craig Biggio's annual Baseball Party with the Sunshine Kids Foundation many times.

It has always been touching to witness, but this time she was able to "feel" how much it means.

Hall of Famer Craig Biggio does it for cancer kids.

"Kids get an opportunity to come out, take some swings, and run around the basses - run around the hill," says Biggio.

Melissa's own little boy, Caleb, who is battling leukemia got to play ball with his hero.

These are moments that will fill up the "Hall of Fame" bank-of-memories of some cancer patients and their loved ones.

Jennifer Wisler, with the Sunshine Kids, says this is one special year for the event because of Biggio's new status.

We've always known he's a hall of famer," says Wisler. "We're just glad now it's solidified!"

5-year old Max enjoyed a day off from Kindergarten to play baseball with the superstar!

He was diagnosed with a rare form of kidney cancer when he was a toddler.  
 
"However bad you think it is - it's worse," says Max's mother Heather McMichael. "It's so stressful - just watching your kid have a lot of pain - there's isolation, because you can't be around germs, there are financial problems, a lot you stress about endlessly, it's really hard.  We come here - there are no thoughts of cancer!  We came here a few years ago - hadn't realized he hadn't had any fun - he walked down the hall and said - did you see me I'm having fun - we hadn't had any fun in months - finally got to have fun - it was amazing."

Misty Day, whose 3-year-old son Nolan is undergoing treatment for Non-Hodgin's Lymphoma, couldn't agree more.

"We love this day!" says Day. "So much fun - play around and they love baseball!"
    
She can't believe how good it feels to see him out of the hospital and enjoying life, just as any 3-year old should!
    
This special event has had the full support of the Astros for decades.

"We started doing it at a local baseball field. It was hot out there, I thought , we take it for granted with the nice fields ... let's just see if we can get the kids in the Astrodome," said Biggio. "Drayton McClane was on board. We did it there, and then did it here. And they're on board. It's time for family and friends to have good time."

Astros President Reid Ryan never misses the event..

"It personally means a lot," says Ryan. "Cancer affects everyone in every walk of life. But the great thing about the Sunshine Kids, there are so many former survivors that are now in the ranks - running here all over the place. We took a group to Cooper's Town with us when Craig went into the Hall of Fame and it's why we have the Sunshine Kids on his retired #7. It's a reminder every single day the simplest things matter most in life. Spending time with friends and family and doing what we have today going on with the Astros."

These little "baseball players for a day" went home with special autographed treasures ... all because Craig Biggio and his wife, Patty, keep stepping up to the plate over and over again to enrich the lives of cancer kids.
 

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