Alex’s Lemonade Stand gets help from local baseball tournament

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LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- It's a local baseball tournament that two big communities look forward to every year that fires up a longstanding rivalry.

But on Wednesday, Lee's Summit West and Raymore Peculiar High School set aside that rivalry to strike out a mutual foe: childhood cancer.

The tournament raised money for Alex's Lemonade Stand, to help fund research for a cure.

Cooper Gray was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer with he was four years old. His mother Shannon said days like this are important to their family.

"Just the fact that he's playing baseball is a really big deal for our family," Shannon said.

You wouldn't know that the energetic boy in blue is a cancer survivor.

"I kind of like to tell people because to me he's a walking little miracle," she added.

Cooper remembers the aftermath of the whole ordeal.

"Whenever they took out my tumor, I wasn't really awake. I was asleep and then I woke with me in bed and I had staples and stitches all over my belly," Cooper recalled.

Cooper is now in remission, and on Wednesday he ran around with the Lee's Summit West High School baseball team.

"He's already got it down; he's throwing a curveball already," one Lee's Summit West player said.

The things that you would take for granted before are so much bigger when you have watched your kid fight for his life," Shannon explained.

Lee's Summit West took on Raymore Peculiar in an annual baseball tournament.

While a win is top of mind, the most important part of game day is partnering with Alex's Lemonade Stand, to donate all ticket and concession sales to childhood cancer research.

"I think it's important because we don't want anymore to end up like I was," Cooper said. "Suffering for cancer."

"Just being able to help a cause like this just makes everyone, including myself, feel like we actually did something and we're helping something that's really bigger than us," Lee's Summit West player Dusty Stroup.

The best part of the day for Cooper was throwing out the first pitch, and just being a kid.





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