Last updated: April 04. 2014 6:11PM - 727 Views
By - dvanderford@civitasmedia.com

Photo submittedLilly Shetley, center, talks with Coach Derrick Means, right, as buddy Logan Vinson, left, looks on.
Photo submittedLilly Shetley, center, talks with Coach Derrick Means, right, as buddy Logan Vinson, left, looks on.
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UNION COUNTY — Now that The Miracle League of Union County is up and running, players and their families are enjoying the new experience the league provides.

On Tuesday night, one parent — Betsy Hudson — talked about watching her son, Kyle — a MLUC player who was diagnosed with Autism and Fragile X syndrome — play baseball.

“Tonight we joined a league we never thought we would — that of ordinary parents watching their child play a sport!” Hudson said, in disbelief that her son had been to Boy Scouts the night before and was playing baseball on Tuesday.

“As I sat in the bleachers holding back tears of joy, I remembered all of the late nights, hard work and determination to get to this point. Not just building The Miracle League of Union County, but the years of doctors, specialists, therapists, appointments, meetings, changes in medications, tantrums, tears, despair, ups and downs for Kyle to get to this point.”

Hudson said her son is now at the point where he is verbal and is reading; can operate their DVR and iPad; loves photography; and can be both silly and well mannered.

Hudson pointed out that April is National Autism Awareness Month. She said she and her husband, Gator, strive to create more awareness and educate others about Autism, as well as help others get services they need.

On her Facebook page, Hudson posted a status about being overwhelmed by the support for The Miracle League of Union County, and she discussed the “Proud Supporter of Autism Speaks” logo which was created for Kyle and is displayed on Team Aruba’s Ford race car.

“Never doubt the power of one — one person, one thought, one dream and more importantly the One, who without Him none of this could have been done,” Hudson wrote. “Thank you, God, for this moment in time.”

The History of The Miracle League of Union County

The Miracle League of Union County (MLUC) became a member of the National Miracle League in August 2010. Since then, the MLUC has established a board of directors, received 501(c)3 status, raised funds, and written and received grants. With Union County providing the MLUC with a field at Timken Sports Complex, fund raising goals were decreased from $1 million to $250,000 for the construction of a Miracle League field. Transformation of the field began in June 2013 and was completed last week.

Through sponsor funding and volunteers, the Miracle League builds specially-equipped, custom-designed fields which incorporate a cushioned synthetic turf, allowing individuals who use ambulatory devices such as wheelchairs and walkers to glide unrestricted to their positions without fear or injury. The playing surface provides a level playing field where individuals with physical and mental disabilities can hit, run and catch — just as they envision in their dreams.

Through the “buddy” program, youth players and community volunteers partner with Miracle League players to provide assistance and encouragement. This partnership benefits both sides as they share the great American pastime to find common ground and, most importantly, friendship.

The National Miracle League currently has 250 Miracle League organizations across the U.S. including Puerto Rico, as well as Canada and Australia. It has gained national recognition as their player rosters have grown to over 200,000-plus children and adults with disabilities.

The remainder of The Miracle League of Union County’s 2014 spring schedule is as follows:

Apr. 15 — 6 p.m. Minors; 7 p.m. Majors

Apr. 22 — 6 p.m. Minors; 7 p.m. Majors

Apr. 29 — 6 p.m. Minors; 7 p.m. Majors

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