ATLANTA - A nonprofit dedicated to bringing joy to children with cancer is traveling around the United States this baseball season and treating kids to a night of memories and fun.
It’s called the Youth Cancer Baseball Tour (YCBT) and last weekend it stopped in Atlanta.
Greg Durfee is the man behind the organization, which was founded after his friend’s nephew died of cancer 16 years ago. The loss impacted Durfee so much that he ended up homeless on the streets of Los Angeles.
“After living on Skid Row for about 2 years I knew I wanted more from my life and to make a difference for children with cancer so I started planning the Youth Cancer Baseball Tour,” Durfee said.
Since Durfee started the YCBT in 2010, his nonprofit has taken more than 500 kids and their families to Major League Baseball games. The goal for this year is to tour all 30 MLB ballparks.
The 2016 YCBT is well underway, with Atlanta already crossed off the list.
Last Saturday, five brave warriors, along with their families, got to attend the Braves vs. Cardinals game at Turner Field.
A few of the kids who attended the YCBT have previously been featured on FOX 5. That includes Carly Ezelle, Robert Hart and Cadence Fox, who won her battle against brain cancer last year. Carly, 2, is in remission, but still receiving chemo treatments and Robert is scheduled to come off of treatments soon after a 5-and-a-half year battle.
The two other warriors who attended included 3-year-old "JD," who is in remission, and 12-year-old Olivia, who has been in remission for five years.
The special event kicked off in the Hank Aaron Room inside Turner Field. The children enjoyed cupcakes as they were welcomed by Braves General Manager John Coppolella. Then celebrity guest Lindsie Chrisley from USA's Atlanta based-hit Chrisley Knows Best spent time with the kids. She brought her son Jackson, who ended up running around and playing "tag" with the other children.
The kids then made their way inside the stadium to cheer on the Bravos. Unfortunately the Braves lost, but it didn't put a damper on the evening. At one point mascot Homer the Brave dropped by to say hello and presented the kids with magnets.
Several of the families told FOX 5 they had a great time and are grateful for Durfee's organization.
Ahead of Atlanta's trip, the tour stopped in Miami and Tampa where Durfee spoke with our sister station WTVT on Good Day Tampa. This week the tour was in Washington, DC and Boston.
Learn more about the Youth Cancer Baseball Tour here. The tour runs on donations and fundraisers. If you would like to contribute to the YCBT, click here.
Special thanks to Georgia based photographer Brandy Angel for inviting FOX 5's Katie Muse to attend. Learn more about Angel's nonprofit, Be The Change - Brandy Angel foundation, and how she spreads awareness through social media.