Ball players take the field, helping out children with cancer - – Rockford’s News Leader

Ball players take the field, helping out children with cancer

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While players fight for the win, 5-year-old Aiden Doner continues to fight for life.

"This is a child that wakes up and embraces everyday, sick or not sick, he just loves life." -says Aiden's mother Nichole Doner.

In four years, Aiden's battled multiple types of cancer, but has managed to recover. He's now cancer free, and Sunday marked the 4th annual softball tournament, held in his honor. Nichole Doner and her aunt came up with the idea for a tournament fundraiser based on a family tradition.

"This ball diamond is somewhere that I was raised. Our entire family has played ball here." -adds Nichole.

Seven teams played at the Hurd Young memorial ballpark Sunday, with games starting at 9 a.m. Each year, familiar faces return, to watch Aiden grow and get better.

"We can have fun, and we can help a good cause. Every single person here keeps coming back. Whether it's the volunteers, they volunteer the next year. The players, they come back the next year." -says Aiden's Great Aunt Diane Capriola.

While players have fun on the field, Aiden keeps a group of friends laughing with his on-the-go attitude.

"He like never stops moving, and he just always wants to do something with you." -says Aiden's friend Jace Warkentien.

Curious and playful is the nature of any 5-year-old, but therapy has taken a toll on Aiden's young body. So much so, that Nichole and her husband Jeremy decided to stop treatment, since he's not showing any signs of cancer.

"We can't take the chance of one more therapy, and ending up with him just completely incapacitated." -adds Nichole.

The family's non-profit organization, Aiden: The Fight For Life, has, so far, raised about $6,000 over the course of four years. All of the money is put towards childhood cancer research.

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