EL PASO, TEXAS (KTSM) – It’s three words that no one ever wants to hear: you have cancer.
Everyone’s worst nightmare became Garrett Calderon’s reality earlier this year, when the former Eastwood baseball star was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Calderon has put his college baseball career on hold to fight the disease and the El Paso baseball community has stepped up to the plate in his time of need.
Ideally, it won’t be an annual occurrence, at least not with these circumstances. The Sun City community banded together on Tuesday to host a baseball camp at Eastwood Middle School to raise money for Calderon’s medical bills. The Eastwood Trooper-turned-Western Texas College pitcher was stunned by over 100 campers turning out in support of him.
“I didn’t know all these people would turn out. I think it’s cool that all the coaches I’ve played for and teammates have come out here to support me,” Calderon said.
Calderon begins his second round of chemotherapy on Wednesday, so Tuesday was a baseball breath of fresh air to get Calderon’s mind off the tough task ahead.
“Garrett has always been a competitor as a player,” Eastwood coach Ryan Medrano said. “He’s an outstanding young man, and we hope by him being here, he sees we’re in his corner and we want him to fight hard.”
They were in his corner and all over the field. The El Paso baseball community showed up for Calderon, from Franklin head coach Ruben Munoz, to former New Mexico State and San Diego Padres pitcher Joe Galindo, all the way up to former Colorado Rockie and New York Met Omar Quintanilla.
“I just told him to hang in there and be strong, this is only going to make you a stronger man and our prayers are always with him and his family,” Quintanilla said.
“20 volunteers are helping for Garrett and pulling for him. We’ve all got a great heart for everyone here in El Paso so whatever we have to do to help him out,” said Galindo.
Despite the devastating diagnosis, Calderon has been positive and had one piece of advice for every camper in attendance.
“If you have a major setback, always look at the positive side. Never be too upset, there’s always good that comes out of everything,” Calderon said.
Over $2,500 was raised to help with Calderon’s medical expenses. There’s also a GoFundMe set up for him, which has raised almost $6,000.
The link to Calderon’s GoFundMe is here: https://www.gofundme.com/garrett-calderon-medical-bills?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=fb_dn_cpgnstaticsmall_r