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June 1, 2013

AUGUSTA, GA – A senior softball team of cancer survivors played in a tournament here on March 9 to promote awareness of the disease – and they touched a 9-year-old boy's life in a very unexpected way.

“The highlight of the tournament was when the umpire, Chuck Stevens, came to me between games and asked if he could have Jersey Number 9 and have the player wearing the jersey autograph it,” said Terry Leiden, coach of the RECNAC CAN-Sirs team.

Leiden said the umpire told him that his grandson Chad, who was 9 years old, had been battling cancer for two years.

“Sure enough, after the game was over, Don (the player wearing Number 9) took the shirt off of his back … and autographed it,” said Leiden, who has published a book about surviving cancer, “Get Back in The Game.”

The CAN-Sirs team, made up of players from Georgia, is continuing to play throughout the Southeast and may well ask 9-year-old Chad to be their batboy, said Leiden.

Anyone interested in playing on the RECNAC CAN-Sir team, please call Leiden at 706-724-8548. CAN-Sirs is a national organization based in Sacramento, CA, that promotes awareness of cancer through participation in senior tournaments with teams made up of cancer survivors.

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