South Rowan baseball game honors people with MS – Salisbury Post
By Susan Shinn Turner
For the Salisbury Post
18-year-old Jack Weaver has played baseball most of his life. The third baseman’s last game of his high school career was Tuesday night at South Rowan High School.
But sport was not the most important thing on his mind. Instead, Jack, who will be playing baseball this fall at Surry Community College in Dobson, has chosen to honor his mother, April, and their friends, Justin Smart and Reagon Falk. All are tenacious fighters in the war against multiple sclerosis.
All five of the team‘s seniors were recognized early in the game, but the spotlight was on April, Justin and Reagon at the start of the third set.
Here’s what the announcer had to say about multiple sclerosis. Jack’s dad Jonathan gathered some facts about multiple sclerosis and added a personal note at the end of Jack and his younger sister Audrey, a rising junior in South.
First of all, thank you very much for joining us at South Rowan for the 2021 senior party.
Tonight we also pay tribute to those living with multiple sclerosis, also known as MS.
MS is a chronic, sometimes disabling disease that damages the central nervous system.
Globally, more than 2.3 million people are affected by the disease. We have a few of these MS warriors here with us tonight. April Weaver, mother of the Raiders‘ third baseman Jack Weaver, is here, along with his friends Justin Smart and Reagon Falk. We‘I’m so happy to have you all here tonight.
You may also notice that the Raiders wear orange ribbons to show their support for anyone living with what many call âthe invisible diseaseâ.
If you have‘Don’t think about participating in the 50-50 raffle yet. All proceeds go to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.
Nowhere‘a message from Jack and Audrey Weaver.
Mom, we admire you for a lot of things, but most of all for your strength through all that life throws at you. Thank you for showing us how to be tough in the face of adversity. You inspire us every day by being the bravest and strongest woman we know.
We pray for good health for you and for all who live with this disease. Still love, Jack and Audrey.
“It was just a good thing and welcoming to people with MS, âJack said on Wednesday of the event. âI was glad Justin was there, and you can see the effects of the disease on him.
April, who is in her 26th year of teaching, is lucky she can still walk. A lot of people don’t even know she has MS. She takes an infusion every six months and sees a physiotherapist once a week.
The biggest hurdle MS patients face this time of year is the heat, his son said. âWe tried to be more careful with her. Sometimes she’s not in a good mood, but I don’t mind.
MS or no MS, April has come to all of her ball games, even in the summer heat. Even if it saps his energy.
“I just thought since this was my last year, I should do something for her, âJack said. âWith baseball, she’s always been there for me. It was a way to show that I care. I wish I could stay after I graduated and help out.
But that’s not how it works. We raise our children, then they graduate and leave the nest. And after all, Dobson is only an hour and a half away, pretty much straight from the family’s house in western Rowan County.
And April will continue to teach third graders at Millbridge Elementary School, a job she loves very much. She admits that MS makes her job harder, but she is determined to reach her 30th birthday.
“I love him so much, âshe said of her career. “It totally allows me to continue.”
His mother, Mary Ann Froriep, recently moved to the area to help.
Jonathan said his sister-in-law worked for a retina specialist, and it was he who mentioned that April might have MS.
Of the diagnosis, Jonathan said: âIt was a bit of disbelief and a lot of not understanding what it meant. I had heard of the Walk for MS, but I didn’t really know what it was. We were educated very quickly. We had to take a step back and learn what it was about, and we didn’t know what to expect.
Jonathan and April are now seeing a neurologist, and he said that while the doctor doesn’t collect any information, “it also gives us hope.”
April is also part of an MS support group that meets at Hurley Y. This is how she met Justin.
Not only was Justin present with his wife, Candice Basinger, Justin’s best friend James Ward came from Fayetteville to surprise him. James’ niece is dating one of the senior players, another connection.
“It’s amazing that school and life are interrupted. These wonderful players are thinking of raising money and raising awareness about MS, âJustin said Wednesday. âI felt honored to be invited.â
“I really appreciate everyone who was involved in the set-up and the arrangements that were made for Justin to be able to attend, âCandice said Wednesday. âWe got to see friends and family, make new friends, watch a baseball game and get involved in the fight against MS. We had a great time!”
Jonathan added: âWe ‘I would like to warmly thank South Rowan Sports Director Angie Chrismon for her help in organizing the evening. Doing it on senior citizens’ nights was a feat, and she was instrumental in achieving that goal.