Caleb Bradfield couldn’t wait to practice his pitching, pleading with his dad to take him down to the field. Time was running short and the rambunctious 8-year-old was slated to toss out the first pitch before Sunday’s Long Beach State baseball game at Bohl Diamond at Blair Field. He wanted it to be perfect.
“He was like that when he was sick,” his mother, Christine Bradford said. “Still full of energy and wanting to know when he could return to T-Ball. He kept asking me when could he go back.”
Caleb missed two Little League baseball seasons while he combated cancer. At age 6, he complained of a stomach ache so his mother took him to an urgent care, thinking he might have contracted a virus. The doctor sent him to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a large stomach tumor, according to Christine.
“To go from a possible virus to them calling it a tumor was an unreal process of 24 hours on a school night,” she said.
Like many, Christine and her husband, Jordan, never gave childhood cancer much thought. They are not alone. According to Bianca Granado, a senior major, not many people imagine children getting cancer.
In order to bring awareness to the issue, the Long Beach State Bateman Team has created a campaign for their client, With Purpose. The Bateman Case Study Competition is the Public Relations Student Society of America’s premier national case study competition for public relations students. This years client for the Bateman Case Study Competition is With Purpose, a youth and community-led movement dedicated to making sure kids with cancer have access to safe and effective treatment options.
PRSSA students were on hand at Sunday’s Dirtbags game promoting the cause. The five-member group set up tables, complete with money jars and information, plus staged an area for kids to play. The students raised $600 from cash donations and a percentage of ticket sales.
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Granado, leader of the team, said the goal was to raise $2,000. In addition to the baseball game, the team has partnered with seven local businesses that will give a percentage of sales to With Purpose.
“Our goal honestly is to spread the awareness and get people to make a difference for the children,” Granado said. “Most people who have stopped by have had a child or known someone who had a child with cancer.”
A child like Caleb.
Caleb has had clean scans for six months; doctors normally wait a year before declaring a person is in remission. Still, the Bradfield family celebrates each day.
“When something like this happens to you, you live each day as if it were your last,” Christine said. “So, now, we do more as a family,” Christine said. “…you make every hour count."