Pennsylvania softball players raise money for children fighting cancer

CAMP HILL, Pa. (WHTM) – A Midstate softball team swung for the fences Saturday for a group that battles childhood cancer.

Teammates found themselves inspired by a friend fighting the battle no child should have to.

At Camp Hill’s softball field at Hoover Elementary School, big swings are king. Ten bucks for ten balls — a buck a ball — shot through a pitching machine.

The rules were simple: Sock a home run or two or five, earn a spot in the hall of fame.

“Everybody’s doing fundraisers for soccer and running, and so we had an idea of doing it for softball,” said 12-year-old Marteen Witmer.

Marteen has played softball for half of her life. When she started at age 6, so did another little girl.

“She’s been one of my good friends for a pretty long time,” she said.

She is Lily Jordan, “just a normal kid and just having fun like any other kid.” She is the reason for Homeruns for Lily.

“And it’s just really sad that just any ordinary kid just has to have that happen to them,” Marteen said.

Lily was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer. She turns 13 in a little over a week.

But before that happens, she’s getting her leg amputated above the knee, above two tumors in her knee and femur.

“When they heard that Lily was going through cancer treatment, they wanted to step up and help out,” said head coach of the U12 girls softball team in Camp Hill David Witmer.

“Like in school,” explained 10-year-old Amanda Lavender, “they teach you about how to be nice to other people.”

This is how the group of players, parents, and friends are being nice, by raising close to a thousand dollars for the Four Diamonds program at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

That group helps every child who comes in for cancer treatment.

“The girls, even though we think they’re little kids, really step up,” Coach Witmer said.

Notes written to Lily by participants on a piece of posterboard sum up the sentiments on the diamond: Stay strong.

“Stay strong, Lily,” Marteen said, “and we all support you.”

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