UVA's newest signing shows strength through adversity

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Like most young baseball fans, Parker Staples' room is covered in Nationals gear, but unlike most kids, Parker's room is at the University of Virginia Children's Hospital.

Parker was diagnosed with Burkitt's lymphoma last year, an uncommon form of cancer in the United States.

"Really didn't know a whole lot about, he had pain and stuff just didn't really know what all that was going to be," Jamie Staples said, Parker's father.

For months, Parker spent time on and off in a hospital room and through various treatments, going to see his favorite team constantly on his mind.

"Go see a Nationals and like go talk to Bryce Harper, look in the dugout and meet and greet the players," Parker said.

His love for the Nationals gave Parker an idea, one to help the ones who care for him.

"Hi everyone I'm Parker, I just wanted to share with you this awesome bracelet, that says Bryce "Parker" Strong," Parker said in a video posted to a Facebook page updating about his progress.

"Bryce Parker Strong" is a combination of his favorite player and the strength Parker shows every day.

"I struggle sometimes, I feel nauseous sometimes, but I remember these bracelets and I'm strong," Parker said.

Only expecting to sell maybe a handful, the bands took off selling more than $1,000. Parker raised the money for the UVA Children's Hospital, going toward toys in the playroom and devices to help other children when getting shots.

"It makes me real proud that he could put that together," Jamie said, "He is strong and he deals with this in ways that you hope you could."

Parker got the chance to sign with the Virginia baseball team just a month after finishing chemotherapy. The nine-year-old got to put on the jersey and hat, while surrounded by the players and Coach Brian O'Connor.

Through his tough times, Parker always making sure to show just how strong he is.

"I'm really strong and I can get through these chemo treatments really easy and I'm almost finished and I got this," Parker said in February.



 
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