GLENDORA (CBSLA.com) — On the field at Friday’s San Dimas Little League All-Star game, a 12-year-old boy fought for every play.
Off the field, Gage Ireland is fighting for his life.
“I can’t do all the things that a normal kid can do right now. Baseball is just one of those things that I’m still good at,” Gage said.
Last Halloween, Gage went to the ER with a headache. A day later, he was undergoing surgery to remove a massive cancerous tumor from his brain.
“I just thought I was taking him in because he had a really bad headache, maybe migraines. And it was quite frightening,” mother Sandy Ireland said.
Gage’s parents said he spent three weeks in the intensive-care unit at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and is now halfway through intensive rounds of chemotherapy and radiation.
Gage lost his hair, eyebrows and 30 pounds but not his spirit to win.
“It gives me hope and it kinda makes me feel like I still have a life,” Gage said.
“He just wanted to go out and play. He’s got a very persistent and diligent personality,” Ireland said. “I was scared because he lost weight and if he got hit by the ball, we had to work with the oncologist closely.”
Gage continued to play for the Little League team throughout the season and eventually made the all-star team.
“It was a no-brainer. The fact that he would have been there no matter what, I still think he probably deserved it,” Mark Winkelman, the team’s manager, said.
The community has rallied around the Ireland family and has given them the strength to field whatever comes their way.
“Baseball has kinda been his place to still be somewhat normal. He can come here and be a kid and play ball and he loves the game,” father David Ireland said.
KCAL9’s Serene Branson reports that doctors have given Gage a 90 percent chance of never seeing cancer again once he completes his treatment.
To make a donation to Gage, visit his Facebook page.