MELISSA, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Amateur baseball players in North Texas are working to strike out cancer.
This weekend they’re participating in a big charity tournament hosted by a young McKinney man who lost his mother to cancer.
Geordon Cox, 20, says there’s nothing his mother, Lisa, loved more than watching him play baseball. As a young boy, every time he’d take the mound to pitch – he’d hear her in the stands.
“She’d really be cheering me on,” Cox said. “It felt good to get support.”
In 2009, coming to his games got harder. Lisa was diagnosed with cancer.
“She had endometrial cancer at the beginning and unfortunately it spread all throughout,” Cox said. “It honestly changed a lot of things. Whenever you have more time to experience something with them, the more that there’s a connection, the more it hurts.”
Cox wanted to help his mother and others in her shoes.
At 11 years old, he came up with the idea to create a charity baseball tournament. He’d call it “Strikes Against Cancer,” donating the proceeds to fighting all types of cancer.
With the help of his father, he created the website and then showed it to his mother, surprising her for Christmas.
“I still remember the conversation and the way she looked,” Cox said. “She read it and she started crying. She was happy.”
Lisa made it to the first two tournaments before she passed away. Now, the tournament continues in her honor.
“All the players, all the coaches, all the families take great pride in this and it shows with how far they come in to travel and how tough they play,” Geordon Cox’s father Adam said.
Cox said if his mother could see what it’s become today, she’d be absolutely overwhelmed.
“Honestly she’d probably just be proud to see what it’s grown into,” he said.
When the tournament started in 2010, around 100 teams participated. This year, more than 350 have signed up to play at more than a dozen sites.
So far, people have donated more than $250,000 to fighting cancer.