Teen battling leukemia raises cash for Make-A-Wish

FOX 35 News at 10 p.m.

- You would never guess that 18-year-old Joe Skinner is battling leukemia, looking at him in video his mother shared with us -- proof of how resilient and how admirable her son is.  

The Bishop Moore High School student recently signed his letter of intent to play with the University of Central Florida baseball team, but a few weeks later, after an emergency visit to the hospital, came the devastating diagnosis.

Joe has been hospitalized, dealing with a setback, so we spoke with his mom, Judy, who tells us, "Still to this day I can't say I believe it... you can't think about it, or you don't get through the process."    That process is arduous and includes hospital stays and chemotherapy, but hopefully, it will also include acceptance into a clinical trial.

Joe’s diagnosis made him eligible for a wish through Make-A-Wish, but after seeing younger children battling life-threatening illnesses during his treatments, he passed.  He felt the younger kids deserved the opportunity more.  So with the help of his good friend and fellow ball player, Mikey Giordano, Joe started to create t-shirts and wristbands that read #SkinnerStrong to be worn by Bishop Moore classmates who would participate in ninth annual Walk for Wishes.

It was a big #SkinnerStrong crowd at Lake Eola on Wednesday, all dressed in Bishop Moore's colors.  They came to support Joe Skinner's wish:  raise thousands of dollars to support the Make-A-Wish mission to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.  

"His friends, they wanted to raise some money and things like that, and Joe said, 'There are kids at the hospital that need a lot more things than I do,'" Judy explained.

It was a home run at Lake Eola, and more home runs to come on the ball field, God willing.   Joe Skinner is a home run king.


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