Families with children battling cancer get free tickets to Royals game – KSHB

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Seven families, all with children battling cancer, were invited by the Youth Cancer Baseball Tour to attend the Royals game for free on Thursday.

All the families were from the metro area, including Jody and Rowan Alford.

Rowan, who is three-years-old, has been battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia for most of his life.

On Thursday, his father was grateful for the opportunity to take in the game with him.

“When I was told that we get to take him to a game I was blown away and fairly excited,” said Jody, who lives in Raytown. “It’s his first ever baseball game. It’s only my second.”

Jody told 41 Action News that Rowan’s battle has brought challenging moments to the family, but they were continuing to fight together.

“It’s been a wild ride but it definitely puts a new perspective on life and kind of gives you an idea as to what’s important,” he explained.

With Rowan wearing a Royals hat and baseball glove for the game, Jody said he had been hoping for a special night like this one for quite some time.

“There was a point in time where I didn’t know if I was going to have a day like this,” he explained.  “To have it is a deep sense of satisfaction.”

The Youth Cancer Baseball Tour teamed up with the TNK Children’s Foundation to make the event possible.

Greg Durfee, the founder of the Youth Cancer Baseball Tour, told 41 Action News that seeing the families have a fun night was the goal.

He said he was motivated to start his organization after seeing a good friend lose a nephew to cancer years ago.

“I just got to the point where I just said, ‘God, I just want to help these kids FOR the rest of my life,’” he said. “It’s a thing where it helps me. It does a lot of healing for me.”

Durfee said the group has traveled to all 30 Major League Baseball Parks, providing tickets to LOCAL families impacted by cancer.

“They don’t always get to go out and have a family time. To see their faces and see how much they enjoy the game is rewarding,” he explained. “You can tell they’re not even thinking about anything but getting the mustard off their shirt or catching a foul ball.”

For all the families who came out on Thursday, the event was far beyond a baseball game.

“What we’re getting is not the dollar amount of the ticket but the experience we’re going to be able to have today,” Jody said.

Jody added that by next spring, Rowan is projected to be fully recovered from leukemia.

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