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I'm the pitching coach for the 13u Irving Heat.

My time with this bunch has been one of the best coaching experiences I have ever had. Some great kids and parents on this team.

One particularly great kid is our catcher, Joe. He is a quiet leader. Leads by example. Best batting average on the squad at .469 with OB of .580 and the fastest base runner we have. He's been with us for 3 years now and his parents have NEVER complained about anything. They are special people. Joe never complains either, even when he's hurting.

Joe's knee began to bother him during a tournament a couple weeks back. He would not admit it though. I asked him if he was okay. He responded his knee was bugging him but he's fine. I asked if this was a new pain and he said no, it's bothered him from time to time for the past couple years!
So I rested him for the balance of the tournament. After that weekend the pain continued, so his parents took him to the doctor. Turns out, the pain is due to Osteosarcoma. Joe has bone cancer. An aggressive malignant tumor is growing at the knee.

Joe was admitted to Children's Medical City in Dallas yesterday and will begin 3 months of chemo-therapy today. They will evaluate the tumor after that period, decide if surgery is needed, then he'll go back on chemo for 3 more months. If surgery is needed, he may loose the leg or need a knee replacement after they remove the tumor in the bone. Joe's only concern is loosing his hair.

Why do things like this happen to such a gentle soul?

Yes, the Lord has a plan for us all, but I am struggling with this.
I pray. I cry. The burden on his family -undeserved.
My prayers center on the belief that God has a reason and Joe will rise up from this one day.

I believe our coaching relationships with players and parents, through the good and the bad, eventually equate to an enriched life for all. We also hope our influences benefit our players and they always remember us. We find ourselves having extended families and we worry about them as though they are our own boys. When it's all said and done, it's the relationships we treasure.

Please pray for Joseph Castilleja.

Update: Mom (Michelle) just informed me the doctors have determined the cancer is contained to the left tibula. 7cm in size. This is good news. Keep the prayers coming.

Coach Mike
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Prayers lifted up for Joe. I hope and pray that through his treatments he is healed and back on the field. This really puts things in perspective, a rough day on the baseball field is nothing compared to battling cancer and the really stressful things that people deal with in real life.

Thank you for sharing this with us so that we can be praying for him.
Last edited by cheapseats

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