14-year-old Jay Couch nearly won the championship game Wednesday night at the Dixie World series for his Bossier Dixie Baseball team. But he scored a bigger victory defeating cancer.
For many 14-year-olds, years of late nights at the baseball park means their baseball careers are rounding third and headed straight for home. "I just grew up laying it and it's always fun," says 14 year old Jay Couch. However Couch is hoping to stretch his baseball memories at least through high school. "I was blessed in order to play baseball," adds Couch.Earlier this week, he blessed his team by pitching them to victory. "He's really enjoying it and having a good time," says Jerry Couch his father. "It's those moments when you see him on the baseball field, it makes you especially proud."
Jay's trip to the World Series started early. He played baseball at nearly every age, since the day he was able to walk. He even recovered from the most painful of injuries to his right arm at the age of 12. He broke it at the elbow. "He was a fighter when he was a baby and he's a fighter now," adds his dad. But when he was only 2, his left arm triggered one of the biggest fears ever written in on a parent's scorecard. "I was giving him a bath and felt something on his arm," says Jerry. "It didn't feel normal and took him to the hospital the next day."
Long before his road to the World Series, Jay was on the road to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Tennessee.
"They came up and told me he had Ewing sarcoma and had about 30-25 percent chance of living," says Jerry. And if the chemotherapy couldn't eliminate the tumor, Jay may have to lose his arm. "You know what it's like to be a those other families with an early diagnosis. You feel for them," says Jay's mother Melissa. "It breaks your heart. It's just hard."
The Couches credit St. Jude's, prayer and that little fighter. "God throws all sorts of things at you," adds Jerry. "And it's not how you let it affect you, but how you learn from it and be appreciative of everything you have."
Jay hit a home run in the Dixie World Series championship game in Bossier City on Wednesday, but Bossier lost to Mississippi 5-4.