Drake Family Finds Relief At Ballpark

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By WSIL Sports

 SESSER -- Sports can teach us many lessons in life, such as teamwork and perseverance. They can also help us escape for a few moments from obstacles we may stumble upon in life. The Drake family from Sesser, recently received some troubling news about their daughter, Nancy, but through sports they have found some relief.

Twelve-year-old, Nancy Drake is a fighter. She was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor just over a year ago and has been battling the cancer with chemo treatments in Saint Louis ever since. 

"Prognosis is that we just keep going every week and getting the chemo and hopefully it will stay stable and it would be really great if it would shrink," said Nancy's father Eric Drake.

"She is doing great and she is strong," said Nancy's mother Kerry Drake. "She out does me. Even though she is on chemo, she is right there with me."

Needless to say, it has been a difficult year for the six members of the Drake family, but they have found some escape in sports, specifically the game of baseball. Nancy's eight-year-old brother, Luke, plays for the Red Bird Rookies, a little league team sponsored by the Saint Louis Cardinals.The family gathers for each game as Luke honors them by taking the field like former Cardinal great, Ozzie Smith. 

"I do a back flip, like Ozzie Smith," said Nancy's brother Luke Drake.

"We showed him a video of Ozzie cause he played with the Cardinals and would do that when he would take the field," said Kerry. "So, every time he will go out there and do the back flip. He loves his sister very much and if he can put a smile on her face and make her feel better than he is going to do it."

The time spent at the ballpark is therapeutic for each member of the Drake family. They can cheer, laugh, and clap with their friends as Luke makes a hit or throws to first for an out. 

 "It has been an amazing get away from the hustle and bustle that we have dealing with a brain tumor in our family," said Eric.

 "Getting to come to games, she loves people," said Kerry. "She likes to be around people and this just gives her an outlet to see her friends and to just have fun."

Recently, Nancy and the rest of her family received some good news. 

"The last time that we went there is something that was there before that is not there now," said Eric. "The doctors said that probably wasn't part of the tumor but it could have been part of the tumor. But whatever it was, it wasn't there and we were pretty excited about that."

And sometimes the simple game of baseball can provide a family ,like the Drakes, some relief through some of life's most complex circumstances.

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