Mya Strong fundraiser hosts softball tournament for second-consecutive year
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Mya Gilchrist is 14 years old, and says softball is by far her number one favorite sport.
“I like softball because I get to hang out with my friends and play the game, have fun," Gilchrist said.
Which made a tournament at Prospect Meadows on this weekend so special. Gilchrist hasn’t been able to play the game herself for some time.
“This all started because this is Mya’s third round of chemo," said Mya’s father David Gilchrist. "She was first diagnosed with the brain tumor when she was 18 months old.”
Mya is now 14 years old, and is currently in her third battle with brain cancer.
“She’s finished 22 months of chemo so far and she has another 12 months ago,” said Mya’s mother Brooke Gilchrist.
But this time was different.
“This is the round where she really decided hey, since we’ve had so much support let’s see if we can raise some money for other kids that aren’t so lucky and as fortunate as I am that have had so much support.” said David.
Mya came up with the idea to start Mya Strong, a fundraising effort not for her own battle, but for those less fortunate going through the same fight.
“Laying in the university and stuff and just sick from chemo and stuff so I was like, I don’t need the money I’m fine, I’m getting through this." Mya said. "Its other people who need the money not me.”
The event is in its second year after raising over $6,000 last year. Walking around the facility it was clear that even though she wasn’t playing, Mya was having the best day of anyone there.
“I wasn’t even supposed to be walking today, where I am and I’m just happy that I’m out." Gilchrist said. “The days that I am sick, I’m not mad because I know that I’ll have good days after to play and have fun and do what I do,"
What she does and what she’s all about is being happy. Even after going through so much in her life already, and with a battle still ahead. Mya still has more than enough positive energy that nothing will stand in her way.
“Here I am today, hanging out having fun, not caring about what’s going on in life, just having fun and getting stuff done.” Gilchrist said.
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