WILMINGTON, Ohio - The Wilmington College baseball team has a new member of the program. RJ Roush, through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, has been adopted into the Fightin' Quaker baseball family.
The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation's mission is to improve the quality of life for children battling pediatric brain tumors and other childhood cancers and to raise awareness through their Adopt-A-Child, Safe on the Sidelines and Guardian Angel Programs. Jaclyn's story can be viewed by visiting the link above.
"We are very thankful to the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation for letting us know about RJ so he can become a member of our team," Head Baseball Coach Tony Vittorio, who worked for the foundation last year, said. "Each and every member of our program cannot wait to provide love, hope and support to RJ and the Roush family. It's only just begun!"
RJ's story begins in 2002 when his sister, Hannah, was diagnosed with congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS). A decade later, she was taken to the emergency room where they found tumors on her adrenal glands. After a biopsy, doctors found out the tumors were caused by a genetic disorder. RJ was tested for the gene and that test came back positive. An MRI that followed revealed RJ had cancerous tumors, though just stage one and two.
RJ was able to remove one of adrenal glands, but the other wasn't operable at the time. To make matters worse, RJ had mono at the time and was admitted to the ICU. In the spring of 2014, doctors were able to remove the tumor without damaging RJ's last adrenal gland. RJ's cancer has been in remission since then, but a tracheostomy was required to give him optimal ventilation. Because of this, RJ has a gastrostomy tube.
Despite not being able to go underwater or participate in contact sports, RJ lives the life of normal seven-year old boy. He is in first grade at Holmes Elementary and loves science as well as participating in t-ball in the spring.