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Major League Slugger Fernando Tatis Jr. will meet a Coral Springs boy battling leukemia



Coral Springs, Florida – In September, 10-year-old Coral Springs resident Fernando Tatis Jr., a slugger for the San Diego Padres, will fulfill his childhood dream of playing baseball.

Jackson Parker, a patient at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital battling cancer, found out on Sunday that he will travel to California to meet Major League Baseball great and Parker’s hero, Derek Tatis, thanks to a grant from Make-A-Wish Southern Florida.

Parker, who is currently in remission and well enough to travel, was taken on Sunday to the Boca Raton TBT Training facility for athletes, presumably to train with his traveling baseball club.

Parker was taken aback to discover that his loved ones were eager to break the exciting news to him: he would shortly be traveling to California to spend time with the captivating right fielder known as “El Niño.”

Parker’s friends ate pizza, played baseball, and made a cake with a Tatis motif to celebrate the news.

“He was really excited. After everything, this is what he needs,” said Parker’s mother, Brittan DeFau.

Children with life-threatening conditions can have their wishes come true thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The desired experiences are free of charge for their whole families.

Parker will be ecstatic to meet Tatis; he spent more than a year in the hospital receiving intensive treatment. Since he was able to walk, he has enjoyed baseball, and according to DeFau, “he would either swing bats or clubs, that was it… he broke my TV with one when he was two and a half.”
Parker, a catcher, adores Tatis because of his fashion sense and eye-catching accessories.

“He looks up to him,” said DeFau.

Tatis has stated that similar to Parker, his mother used to purchase new baseball bats or gloves for him as a reward for receiving good grades. And Tatis, when he’s on the diamond, is still a child at heart.

“I’m always trying to be happy,” Tatis told “I always remember it’s a game. You’re not always going to win. But no matter what, you have to [have] a good time. Be the best version of yourself. Be a kid.”


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