HOUSTON - Like any new player on their first day, 9-year-old Cameron Gooch and his family arrived in style, via limousine, to Minute Maid Park Thursday.
And, like any new player arriving to the Astros, he was the focus of a lot of media attention. However, the nerves quickly left once the team’s newest player was inside the clubhouse.
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“[They] took me into the tunnel and (Will) Harris came out and showed me around the clubhouse and then he took me up to the dugout and we met some of the guys,” Cameron said.
“For a boy who’s loved baseball like, you know, has been coming to games since he was in my tummy, to see him in an Astros uniform, especially after all he’s been through with treatment, it’s just, I’m, I’m speechless. It’s amazing,” Emmie Gooch said.
Emmie Gooch is Cameron’s mom, and that treatment she’s talking about is for cancer. That’s right. This whole thing is a Make-A-Wish Foundation partnership with the Astros.
“They said you can pick anything you wanted and I wanted to be an Astro,” Cameron said.
“He was diagnosed mid-September 2016 with rhabdomyosarcoma, which is pediatric solid tissue tumor type of cancer. It was in his pelvis and causing a lot of trouble with nerves and his kidneys, it had grown to the size of a baseball, ironically,” Emmie Gooch said.
“He had just tried out for baseball and then about a week after that we found out what was going on,” Cameron’s dad, Aaron Gooch, said. “He came back about four months later and actually played in the next season while he was going through treatment. And I think that helped him keep his mind off of what was really going on in his life at that time.”
That’s how much baseball means to this guy. It helped him knock cancer out of the park.
“It was hard but I did it,” Cameron Gooch said.
“We’ve had two scans since surgery that have shown clear -- no evidence of disease -- and now, he can just be a healthy baseball-loving boy again,” Emmie Gooch said.
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