WEST MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — The Ouachita parish lions baseball team hosted a special baseball game Saturday afternoon shortly after their game against Caldwell Parish.
The Lions teamed up with the Epilepsy Alliance Louisiana Foundation to help raise money to go toward West Monroe’s Dixie Diehards baseball team.
Executive Director of Dixie Diehards baseball team Dee Simmons spoke with NBC 10 on receiving the call to join the Ouachita Lions baseball team for the event. “Ouachita high school called and asked us if we would bring some players out to play against the guys today for a benefit. They’re having for one of their players are one of their students we were delighted to come, says Simmons.”
This team consisted of players with special needs and they got to join the lions on the diamond for a good friendly battle on the field.
Simmons also adds, “We play in West Monroe, every penny that you get to help. It helps pays for the bats and the equipment. It helps the players with their fees to play.”
Ouachita parish pitcher Tripp Fleming shared his enjoyment with the kids
“It was awesome, It was so electric and great to have a lot of fun. They were super great and they hit hard harder than probably most of our players, says Fleming.”
After each cool play, the kids made came with some extra dance moves. Tripp Fleming reflects on some of his favorite dance moves one of the kids made. “I liked M.J.’s Griddy! He had a pretty good “griddy” going to have lotta kids hit the ball very hard. Jaquavion hit a home run and I had to run around the bases with him he got me pretty hyped, says Fleming.”
Ouachita Parish assistant coach Justin Osborne proposed the idea to his team. On the importance of giving back and educating the players after they learned Coach Osborne recently lost his daughter Kalie Osborne from Dravet Syndrome. A very rare seizure disorder that is caused by a semi-gene that’s missing.
“That’s what we talked about I told them you know I was blessed for Kalie to live for 13 years. We were blessed to know that got to have her for a long time. They diagnosed her at 2 years old and she live to be 15 before passing away. That’s why we try to do some special in memory and try to be happy about it now. Honor her the best we could. The kids are great they were great they had a blast and that they enjoyed, says Coach Osborne.”
Coach Osborne continues by explaining how we may think we have bad days until we see others walk a different path and how the event was a way to bring the community together who share the same struggles and to provide support in any way they can.
“For them to be able to get out and do things like that with community support and let them know they have in the community is awesome. You know it’s tough and I went through it, and you get sad, you feel like you’re not doing a great job because you see you can your kid struggling every day. You want to know if you could do something better if you do something wrong.
Coach Osborne continues “It’s awesome when the whole community is behind it and they have friends they can make out here that you know we’re going through the same stuff and the parents can be friends and be there for each other it’s good.”
I asked Coach Osborne “What would be some words Kalie would say about her father keeping her legacy going after a baseball game like this today.”
Justin Osborne says, “Laugh daddy, laugh is what would come out her mouth. Most of the times that is all she said.” He adds, “She just wanted people to laugh, or she wanted to go walking and right now she’ll probably be upset because we’re putting stuff up and she couldn’t play outside anymore. However no, anytime she wanted to be outside she was happy she was a blessing.”
Kalie Osborne was one of two cases in Louisiana ever diagnosed. The other child of the second case from Denham Springs, Louisiana. She was just two years younger than Kalie, who also passed away from the syndrome.