Over the last couple of months our family has been fortunate to receive an abundance of support from the St. Louis Cardinals and Cardinal Nation. Sean's long-time friend, Skip Schumaker plays second base for the Cardinals. Skip has been our close friend for many years as he was the Best Man in our wedding and Sean was the Best Man in his. When Skip found out that Reesa was diagnosed with Krabbe disease he decided to use his influence to help us raise funds for her medical care and raise awareness for this rare disease. Even Skip was surprised at the overwhelming backing he received from his coaches, teammates, the media and the St. Louis community. Cardinal manager, Mike Matheny, immediately committed half the proceeds from his annual Catch 22 Golf Tournament to help with Reesa's medical care. This charity golf tournament was held on June 11th and was our first taste of Cardinal Nation. We were blown away by the amount of philanthropy and kindness that was shown to us by Coach Matheny and the hundreds of attendees. People who had never met us or Reesa showed genuine compassion for our plight. It is truly a day that we'll never forget.
Skip dedicated a lot of time and effort in putting together the next event called Stars 4 Baby Reesa which was held at SunRise United Methodist Church. Troy Merseal and Emily Blue Brown from SunRise worked tirelessly for weeks to organize this fantastic affair. Grandpa Jim and Uncle Houston came with us to St. Louis to share in the experience. Dozens of current and former sports stars from the St. Louis Cardinals, Blues and Rams donated their time to sign autographs for the thousands of fans that showed up. ESPN Radio broadcast live from the event and Sean did an on-air interview that you can listen to HERE. Contributing to the day's success was the heavy promotion by Dan McLaughlin the Cardinal's commentator on Fox Sports Midwest. Dan has young kids and he has been particularly moved by Reesa's story. He put together the following television promotion and radio promotion to bring attention to the Stars 4 Baby Reesa event and to Krabbe disease. This night was so extraordinarily special to our family and we can't do it justice in this blog, but here is one of the many articles that were written about the event and one that we think captures our sentiment perfectly: ARTICLE
The last and most recent spectacle in Reesa's honor was Baby Reesa Night at the Ballpark held on August 8th as the St. Louis Cardinals faced the San Francisco Giants. Grandpa Mike and Sean's cousin Don Cook from New York joined us as we received the red carpet treatment the entire day. Sean, Jamie and Reesa went onto the field before the game to throw out the ceremonial "First Pitch" to Skip Schumaker and Mike Matheny. It was a once in a lifetime and surreal experience for us to stand before a packed Busch Stadium, look up at our family on the jumbo-tron and know that all of this is because of our little girl. After the pitch, we watched the entire game from the President's Box. Towards the end of the game Reesa started to smile and let out a laugh like we haven't heard in months. It was the perfect end to a perfect night!
We are so blessed and deeply grateful to have this kind of support. It has helped turn a tragic situation into an enlightening experience for the thousands that have been affected by Baby Reesa and her journey. As parents, we will cherish these memories with our little girl for the rest of our lives. Our mailbox has been full of letters and hand-made cards from children all over the country who have never met Reesa but say they pray for her every night. Thank you to all of the wonderful people who have made this possible!