DALAS – The Dallas Baptist University baseball team is filled with talented players and leaders in the dugout. But their inspiration comes from the young man in the stands. His name is Benjamin Landry, and his influence goes far beyond baseball diamond.
After every home game, victory or defeat, one thing does not change: Benjamin breaks off the conversation and says goodbye to his teammates.
“He was such an amazing blessing for this team. It’s such a good thing when you see it after every game. As Blaine said, “Win or lose, he’s here,” said DBU pitcher Cole Reeves.
“It really shows us that life isn’t just about baseball,” said DBU inflator Blaine Jones. “God works in mysterious ways. We are grateful that he comes out and shows us what life really is. ”
Benjamin’s life early on was the same as any other child. In fact he played baseball and was a great player himself. But one day after the game his coach turned to his mom with some worries.
“He said [Benjamin] just don’t see us, ”said Benjamin’s mother, Kelly. “We don’t know what’s going on. He just wasn’t very vigilant. “
A week later, doctors discovered a tumor in Benjamin’s brain. At the age of 5 he was diagnosed with medulloblastoma.
“It was the most painful thing my parents could go through,” said Benjamin’s father, Mark. “The doctors took us to a room and put us in jail, then they didn’t tell us anything. Just said sorry. Then suddenly they said that he had a tumor of the brain and heart stopped. ”
After eight months of chemotherapy and radiation, Benjamin was declared cancer-free. But that freedom has come at a price. Due to the side effects of the treatment he lost his sight and hearing.
“As a mom, it was hard to explain that reality,” Kelly said. “I cried often. I would be happy, I would be bored. But you know what? We never gave up. “
This is a family affair on the football field. But Benjamin’s favorite part?
“I really like it because I can see when I’m going to play with these guys,” he said.
“We contacted his mom, called her, and we couldn’t be happier that he was part of our program,” DBU head coach Dan Hifner said. “It’s been 10 years.”
“I think it’s going to go on forever,” Kelly said with a laugh. “He may be 30 years old, still suffering from DBU. He may be a senior citizen who encourages the DBU. ”
“He inspires everyone,” Mark said. “Whoever meets Benjamin is the inspirer. You will never forget it. You never do. ”
And no one will ever be.