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Softball community rallies for high school player fighting cancer

Ridgeview High senior diagnosed with B-Cell Lymphoma in November

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Ridgeview High School softball player’s fight against cancer has become a community effort.

Hundreds of people attended the “Battle for Brooke” softball tournament fundraiser Saturday for Brooke Michael.

Brooke is a catcher for Ridgeview High School. Her twin sister, Brittany, is a pitcher on the team.

“Everything that we’ve ever done has been together as far as softball,” Brittany said.

They’re described as a dynamic duo.

Hundreds of people attended the “Battle for Brooke” softball tournament fundraiser Saturday for Brooke Michael.
Hundreds of people attended the “Battle for Brooke” softball tournament fundraiser Saturday for Brooke Michael. (WJXT)

Both were looking forward to their senior season this year. They’re already committed to play college softball at the Auburn University at Montgomery.

But in November, they encountered an unforeseen obstacle. Brooke was diagnosed with B-Cell Lymphoma, a cancer in the white blood cells.

“When my mom told me, you would have thought somebody died. That’s how I reacted to it,” Brittany said. “I broke down. But they were like, ‘You have to be strong for Brooke’ because I needed to see her before they transported her to Wolfson, so I just had to pull together, but I mean I broke down. I haven’t cried that hard in a long time.”

Without hesitation, Brooke’s teammates and community rallied behind her.

“I know Brooke is a fighter so she will fight this,” teammate Natalie Foret said.

Hundreds of people attended the “Battle for Brooke” softball tournament fundraiser Saturday for Brooke Michael.
Hundreds of people attended the “Battle for Brooke” softball tournament fundraiser Saturday for Brooke Michael. (WJXT)

“It’s not just her fight; it’s all of our fight,” teammate Autumn Brennan said.

Cecil Field was filled with hundreds of people Saturday for a softball tournament featuring 16 travel teams from across Northeast Florida and 23 umpires.

“I’ve kind of got a special place for it. I lost my mom to lymphoma about five years ago, so I feel like a raised a lot of these girls. We umpire and we see them every weekend, so it’s very special,” umpire Chuck Frey said.

Brittany Michael said this season is dedicated to her sister.

“This will be 100% for her. Hopefully, she can get back on the field in the springtime, but this is going to be for her,” Brittany said.

Brittany Michael said her sister has been receiving chemotherapy treatment and doctors are optimistic that Brooke could be back on the field this spring.


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