OLATHE, Kan. -- One Johnson County softball program is proving to be a true sisterhood.
When a near-tragedy hit Olathe Northwest High School's dominant softball team, players rallied to lift up their coach and her family.
"Hi Mama, Hi Mama," Anne Levar-Hash's soothing voice could be heard on Tuesday, whispering to her little son.
When the Raven Softball squad said it's a family, it wasn't kidding around. Levar-Hash, an assistant softball coach at Northwest High School, said her players came to her rescue in the face of despair. It's been roughly a year since the younger of her two sons, Beau, was diagnosed with GNA01, a rare genetic disorder that manifests itself in different forms from patient to patient. In Beau's case, it leaves him unable to speak or move independently, but Levar-Hash said his mental capacities are quite strong.
"It's almost like he's trapped inside a body that won't do what he tells it to do," Levar-Hash told FOX4.
Levar-Hash said she remembered the phone call from pediatric specialists, who informed her of her son's condition. It's believed that fewer than 100 patients worldwide live with GNA01, and a significant number of them live in the Kansas City metro, in order to receive treatment at Children's Mercy Hospital. Levar-Hash said Beau receives therapy five times per week at an area clinic.
"I honestly went to bed for three days. I could not get out of bed. I distinctly remember getting up and going to practice because I needed to be with these girls," Levar-Hash said.
Dating back to 2017, the Raven softball program has a 42-7 record, along with a state Class 6A championship and a state runner-up as well. Countless Raven players were seen holding Beau, pushing him in a stroller, and expressing their love and support for their beloved assistant coach. Part of the support they've shown include the sale of #Team Beau t-shirts and bracelets, the proceeds from which go to the Bow Foundation, a group that spreads awareness of GNA01.
"(The players) were absolutely a treasure for me. They saved me in so many ways," Levar-Hash said.
"We just want to help them because we know it's a struggle and a daunting task. We want to make sure that they know they're not alone in this," Loren Beggs, Olathe Northwest third base, said.
"'Hash' is like a mom to all of us. When we see her struggling, we all struggle inside. We just want to rally around her," Jordan Richards, Raven catcher, said.
The Ravens girls have sold hundreds of those #TeamBeau shirts, and made this community aware of Beau`s condition. Raven coaches say this team`s strongest success is lifting up their mentor when her family needed it the most.
On Tuesday, representatives from the Ridgeview HyVee location presented the Olathe Northwest softball program with the FOX 4 Team of the Week award. It's a small token that arrived long after the program's players opened their hearts.