By Craig Marx, Editor
Head out to the diamond this weekend for what may be one last hurrah for the softball season on Friday and Saturday, and for a great cause at that.
The 1st Annual Halloween Hits Benefit Tournament will kickoff tomorrow evening at 5:30 p.m. at the Antigo Lake Park ball diamonds, featuring Halloween-inspired antics and co-ed groove pitch softball. The proceeds from this new, weekend charity tourney will go to benefit a young, local child, Layna, who was recently diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, an extremely rare genetic disease that has left the child with multiple life-threatening health concerns while constantly undergoing treatments and observations.
Layna’s parents describe her condition and prognosis and the support needed to rally behind her:
Layna is the daughter of Corey Heisler and Alyssa Peschke. She was born on December 30th, 2015. The first few months of her life were just like any other baby. She was happy and healthy and loved to play.
Unfortunately on September 2nd, 2016 everything changed. Layna’s parents woke up to her having a seizure in her crib at the young age of eight months old. After being taken to Aspirus Langlade Hospital and then rushed to St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, little Layna was diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, a very rare gene mutation that less than 1% of the world’s population have. It causes vital organs to grow tumors on them.
In Layna’s case, an MRI had shown that her brain is covered in tumors which led to her to being diagnosed with epilepsy. With further testing on done on Layna, an MRI was also performed on her kidneys because of a bulge felt in her belly. The MRI came back with more bad news. Layna’s kidneys were very large and, between the two of them, she has over 100 cysts. She was then diagnosed with Poly-cystic Kidney Disease. She is currently on medication for epilepsy, and because her kidneys cannot flow blood through them properly, her heart is pumping more blood than it needs to. Layna is now taking high blood pressure medication too.
If the tumors in her head continue to grow, Layna will need chemo treatments to try and shrink the tumors or possible brain surgery. As for her kidneys, we can only hope the cysts do not grow or multiply leading to a doubly kidney transplant. She will require many monitoring MRIs done at the Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee to watch the growth.
She is a strong little girl and one tough fighter. Keep little Layna in your prayers today and every day. God bless.
Come out to the ballparks this weekend to help support little Layna and enjoy the charity games – including a chance to see players dressed up in costume. In fact, dressing up ala Halloween style is not only preferred but could prove detrimental if overlooked – any player without a costume will cost their team one run per game.
For more information, please contact Ken at (715) 216-4778.