Give a Child a Voice(DALLAS) — Eric Erdman is all about helping others, especially children.The 20-year-old Pennsylvania native founded the Give a Child a Voice foundation in 2016 shortly after being diagnosed with anaplastic ependymoma, a rare form of brain cancer. His foundation is not only dedicated to ending life-threatening childhood illnesses but also works to combat child abuse and bullying, two things Erdman experienced firsthand.“When I got diagnosed with cancer, I didn’t want to focus on the bad times,” he told “GMA.” “I wanted to go the route of being happy and joyful, and inspire people.”Erdman first shared his story with “GMA” in September 2019 and it was around that time that medical experts told him he had approximately five months to live.Putting no time to waste, he has spent the last several months continuing to grow Give a Child a Voice and empower youth. In his most recent philanthropic effort, he launched the Give a Child a Voice Fitness Center Giveaway, offering a school in need a brand-new fitness facility.The contest drew the attention of hundreds of schools all over the world.“We had so many amazing submissions from schools,” he said. “We even had one from Australia, which was mind-blowing … I couldn’t believe the amount of people that were in need.”After reviewing the submissions, the foundation was announced on Feb. 20 that Life School Oak Cliff in Dallas would be the recipient of the new fitness facility.A recent shooting in the community and a student’s death by suicide stood out as reasons why Erdman thought the school would benefit from a fitness center.“I’m so happy that they are the winners,” he said.Erdman was unable to be at the announcement because of medical appointments, but he visited Life School Oak Cliff in January of this year, where he was welcomed with open arms by the students and faculty.Life School Oak Cliff will be the third fitness center built by Give a Child a Voice, following Erdman’s first project at his own high school and a second at his high school’s rival’s campus. The first project was funded through the wish Erdman was granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.“When I was being bullied and abused, I felt alone,” he said. “When I went to the weight room, it built courage up inside of me to talk about it.”“I hope that one day a little kid going through a hard time finds their courage through the weight room like I did, to speak up and tell their story.”https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/wellness/video/terminally-ill-man-gifts-dallas-school-fitness-center-69111428Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
PENSACOLA, Fla. –The West Florida baseball team will be playing for something more than Gulf South Conference wins when the team takes the field Saturday. The Argonauts will be hosting Strike Out Cancer games to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. The day is especially significant to one Argo who was diagnosed with cancer almost five years ago. Junior catcher Ben Emery is a cancer survivor who was diagnosed with Stage 3 Non-Hodgkin’s Burkitt’s Lymphoma during the summer after his sophomore year of high school. Emery underwent four months of chemotherapy the fall of his junior season before recovering in time to compete in the spring. After having success at Pensacola State College, Emery transferred to UWF where he began playing for the Argos last fall. “Ben is one of those special kids,” UWF coach Mike Jeffcoat said. “I don’t think a lot of his teammates, unless they asked him, would know he’s a cancer survivor. He’s not somebody that wants anybody to feel sorry for him. But, he’s a guy that’s an example of someone who knows it’s a privilege to play baseball. Ben’s a prime example of perseverance, being tough and overcoming obstacles on the field and in life.” Although he was a standout student-athlete with college ambition his first two years at Dunedin High School, his diagnosis the summer after his sophomore year threatened to prevent him from achieving that goal. “I was at an East Cobb showcase during the summer when I started having stomach pain in the morning,” Emery said. “I played a game that day and then went to the hospital after.” Scans produced inconclusive results, and Emery eventually had exploratory surgery before being diagnosed. “I was in shock more than anything,” Emery told the Tampa Bay Times in 2010, shortly after his diagnosis. “I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I didn’t think something like this could happen to me. I was a little bit scared.” But Emery decided he wasn’t going to let the diagnosis break his spirit. His next question for doctors was: “When can I get back on the field? It’s important for me to come back,” he told the Times that summer. He did come back. After four months of chemotherapy, Emery was cleared to begin regular baseball activities in November of his junior year of high school. He eventually went on to be named a three-time all-county honorable mention, PCAC all-county second team honoree, Rawlings/Perfect Game Preseason Florida Region All High School Seniors Team Honorable Mention and a Pinellas-Hillsborough All-Star Selection. Before transferring to UWF, Emery spent time at Pensacola State College where he was named Second-Team All-Conference, a FCSAA Academic All-American, a 2013-14 NJCAA Academic All-American and awarded the PSC Jim Kline award. “Don’t take any situation you have for granted,” Emery said of the lessons he’s learned. “Injuries come and go. You’ve just got to make the best of your situation. Every day you get to come out to the field is definitely something you look forward to. You don’t know if you’ll always be able to or not.” The UWF baseball and softball teams host Lee in Strike Out Cancer games Saturday, March 28. The fundraiser will take place at both the UWF Softball Complex and Jim Spooner Field, and all proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society. “Any time you can help raise funds to continue research, help find ways to cure it or help the patients who battle it is something we definitely want to be involved in,” Jeffcoat said. “Hopefully we have a great day and can give any survivors or people undergoing treatment a day to get away from anything bringing them down. We think it’ll be a great day to watch baseball and support a great cause.”For information on all UWF athletics, visit www.GoArgos.com.Print Friendly Version read more
The stunning par 70 18-hole course is used regularly by staff and players at Bristol Bears, and the club delighted to extend its relationship.“The Bristol Golf Club has been a long-term partner of Bristol Bears and we’re excited to see that partnership continue into the new season,” said chief operating officer, Mark Tainton. “The Bristol Golf Club has been a long-term partner of Bristol Bears and we’re excited to see that partnership continue into the new season.” Mark Tainton, chief operating officer “The superb course and clubhouse is of significant value to our players and staff during their down time, and we look forward to continuing our strong relationship.”The Bristol Golf Club is blessed with spectacular views over the Severn Estuary, some memorable par threes and greens that are playable all year round. In addition to the beautifully maintained 18-hole course, the club has a nine-hole par three which doubles up for Foot Golf between 1pm and 5pm.“Bristol Golf Club is thrilled to extend our long-standing relationship with Bristol Bears, as the team embark on the beginning of a bold new era in the Gallagher Premiership,” said Grant Masterton, Bristol Golf Club Manager.“It is a pleasure to host players and staff from the club and we look forward to welcoming them here throughout the season.” read more