A Frienship Bonded by Baseball and Faith

(SKIPPERVILLE)-- When you ask 12-year old Kamryn Faria who his favorite baseball player is, his answer may surprise you.

"My favorite baseball player is Trey Walding," said Faria.

Trey Walding is a senior center-fielder at G.W. Long high school and one of the nation's best.

Walding was selected to play on the 2012 Power Showcase All-American baseball team. Walding will represent the state of Alabama in a game that features the top 40 graduates for the class of 2013 from around the country.

130 of the world's top baseball talent will assemble at Miami Marlins ball park from December 27th-30th.

Kamryn and Trey's friendship dates back about five years, when Trey's mother, Jennifer, was Kamryn's 2nd grade teacher.

"I would stop by during lunch or breaks and talk to my Mom. I'd mess with Kamryn while I was in there and we would talk about baseball and all types of stuff," said Walding.

As part of the Power Showcase event, Walding will also compete in the 7th Annual Power Showcase International High School Home Run Derby.

Former champions and award winners include Washington Nationals phenom Bryce Harper, who recorded the events first 500 foot plus home run as a 16-year old in 2009.

"Most people are familiar with the Home Run Derby mainly because of Bryce Harper and what he did in it," said Walding.

Walding is excited to have an opportunity to step in the same batter's box as many professionals he's grown up watching at Miami Marlins ball park. But does he have what it takes to crank a homer in a Major League park?

"Pshh, I sure hope so. I don't know though. We'll see. I've been working out a lot, taking a lot of batting practice so hopefully I go up there and have a good day," said Walding.

Hopefully Walding can hit at least one home run, if for no other reason, for Kamryn.

Three weeks before his 7th birthday, Kamryn was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma, a type of bone cancer.

For Kamryn's mother, Mandy Thomas, breaking the news was one of the toughest things she's ever had to go through.

"He started crying and threw the covers over his head. And he said why are ya'll lying to me?," said Thomas.

"I wish it was me. I would have rather it been me than him."

Kamryn underwent a year of chemoteraphy at Birmingham Children's hospital. Despite the frequent trips to and from Birmingham Kamryn's spirits were high.

"He was always smiling. He was courageous and always kept a positive attitude about the whole thing," said Thomas.

Four months into chemo Kamryn received a donor bone in his left arm. He underwent surgery and then went through another six months of chemo treatment.

"I prayed about to get cured and go get to see my friends and play baseball," said Faria.

At just seven years of age Kamryn Faria was motivated to beat cancer because of baseball.

"When my son looked up at me with that Chemo pumping through his body and he said "Daddy, you know what?" And I'm laying in the bed with him and I said what is it buddy? And he said, "Daddy I'm gonna be okay, and one day I'm gonna be back on that Diamond before you know it."

Rusty Faria remembers that story vividly. An occasion when child comforted parent.

Kamryn, motivated by baseball was also guided by strong faith.

"God Blessed me," said Faria.

"Everybody kept praying for me and if it wasn't for that I wouldn't be here," he said.

Kamryn's cancer is currently in remission. He was back on the diamond, as promised, just four weeks after his last chemo treatment.

Trey Walding is on a mission. He's teamed up with Kamryn and Home Runs for Help to raise cancer awareness.

Home Runs for Help is a community outreach initiative that asks Derby participants to reach out and team up with someone in their community who has a potentially life-threatening medical condition.

"The first home run ball I hit, I'm going to sign it and give to Kamryn," said Walding.

"I think it's pretty cool," said Faria.

"I'm gonna be hoping that during the home run derby he hits a home run," he added.

Walding is proud to be a role model, not just someone for Kamryn to look up to, but for all kids his age or younger."

"It's important to have someone to look up to. Whether it's a teacher, a bus driver, a friend or an athlete," said Walding.

"I feel like I can be that guy for a lot of people and I feel like I owe it to Kamryn to just be that guy and be a good friend to him," he said.

Regardless of the outcome in Miami, Kamryn and Trey are an example of the fact friendship has no limits. It's a friendship bonded by faith and baseball.


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