Sunday, October 22, 2006

My cousin gets to head to game 2 of the World Series tonight. Here is the story from her local paper.

A Detroit Tigers fan since age 7, Howell's Jessica Marcus planned to watch Game 2 of the World Series at home with her family.

Today, however, the 15-year-old Fowlerville High School junior is donning her mitt in the hopes of catching a foul ball as she sits behind home plate at Comerica Park — compliments of the Tigers Clubhouse, which donated two tickets to C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, where Jessica has undergone treatment since September 2005 for chronic pancreatitis and chronic kidney failure.

"I was surprised and happy," Jessica said upon learning she was receiving complimentary tickets to today's game. "Go Tigers!"

Jessica, who will attend the game with her father, Dale, said she plans to make a poster reading "Tiger Tough" and "You're my Tiger" for two of her favorite ball players — Brandon Inge and Magglio Ordonez.

Jessica has been following the Tigers since she attended her first game at 7 years old.

She also was an athlete, playing basketball and volleyball. She is no longer able to participate in sports, however, due to her health.

Dale Marcus said his daughter began to get sick in September 2005, when she spent a month and a half in the hospital.

"It came on her very suddenly," he said of his daughter's illness. "It escalated very quickly, and she went into renal failure within the first 24 to 48 hours."

A big mystery remains — doctors are unable to tell the family the cause of Jessica's illness.

Jessica spends three days a week at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor undergoing dialysis treatment.

She was in the emergency room at the University of Michigan Medical Center being admitted for treatment when she learned that Mott was giving her tickets to the game.

"At first, I was speechless," her father said, noting that he thought it was a joke. "We went to see a game earlier this year, but the thought didn't cross my mind we'd see a World Series game."

Krista Hopson, a hospital spokeswoman, said the Tigers and Mott have a longstanding relationship with players like Inge frequently coming to visit.

"The last time Inge came to visit patients ... Jessica was unable to see him since she was in surgery," Hopson explained. "It was a huge disappointment since he is Jessica's favorite player. So when the tickets became available, it was obvious who they should go to."

Jessica said it is a dream to see a World Series game in person. She is excited the Tigers will face the St. Louis Cardinals in what she said should be some really great baseball.

"I think it will be easy, the first couple innings," she said, adding that in the end, "Magglio will hit a legendary home run — as he always does."

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