Kids fighting cancer get help from special teammates

- We know the Rays players from their work on the field, but so many of them have made it their priority to get to know kids who are fighting cancer.

Josh Fisher is one of those kids. He's 7 years old, diagnosed with leukemia, but doing so well now, and throughout his treatment, Evan Longoria wore a wristband to honor him.

"Josh is way up there on the list of my pals," the Rays star said.  "An inspiration to me of being a fighter."

Longoria and so many of his teammates make weekly visits to All Children's Hospital to see the kids and check on them.  When the children feel like it, they get to come to the games and even watch batting practice. 

"It means so much to them," offered Josh's dad, Patrick.  "Pediatric cancer is a very isolating disease and these kids are by themselves so many times. It's those memories and the pictures, they look forward to the next time they come see the players."

The players told us they get probably more joy out of visiting the kids than the kids.

Pitcher Brandon Gomes and his wife make it a priority in their lives.

"Continuing a relationship with them," he said, "it's been a blast."

Even the coaching staff has gotten involved. Hitting coach Derek Shelton and his wife Allison love giving their time to the kids.

"Once you spend one day in there and you see one kid, you want to spend as much time as possible," he explained.

The Shelton family has gotten to know little Sophia and her family. After a tough battle, Sophia is now cancer-free and able to enjoy spending time with her heroes.

"We thank the Rays for everything they've done for us," her mom beamed.

Up Next:


Up Next

  • Kids fighting cancer get help from special teammates
  • Bay Area collegiate swimmer encourages kids to get in the water
  • Children's Cancer Center gives families a place to escape
  • What's Right with Tampa Bay: Operation Military Matters
  • Bayou Nature Center connects children with nature
  • Creative writing workshops for kids promote literacy
  • Tampa Bay Heralds of Harmony win big in Vegas
  • Son honor's father's legacy of volunteering
  • Christmas in July benefits young patients
  • "Backpacks of Hope" for students in need of school supplies