Softball tournament held in Davie to help cancer-stricken toddler

DAVIE, FLA. (WSVN) - A group of South Florida police officers and some friends picked up their softball bats and hit the field in order to lend a helping hand to a little boy battling cancer.

Karter Strand, who lives in Palm Beach County, is just 2 and a half years old, but he is facing a battle against an aggressive form of the disease: stage 4 neuroblastoma. His uncle, Davie Police Officer Robert Riley, jumped at the chance to organize a softball game to help raise money for his nephew’s medical treatment, along with fellow officer Erik Stuehrenberg.

But what started as one game quickly grew into a tournament. “When something like this happens, the police and the fire community, they really, really step up,” said Stuehrenberg. “It really wasn’t a question for any of these teams. It was, ‘Where are we having it?'”

The Saving Karter Softball Tournament didn’t just bring people to the field for a bit of fun. It raised at least $10,000 for the Strands’ medical expenses, and that’s just from the teams. “We were maybe thinking 10, 12 teams total, and within two weeks we got 25, 27 teams saying they want to come out,” said Riley. “It gives you chills, it gives you goosebumps that people want to support you the way they do.”

“We just started chatting in the morning, and he says, ‘Mommy, am I sick? And I was like, ‘Yeah, baby, you are, but we’re gonna get better. That’s why we’re here,'” said the boy’s mother.

With the finest and the bravest going to bat for Karter, his parents, Karl and Laurie Strand, are able to focus more on their little fighter and the challenge of his young life. “It’s gonna be a really long, scary road here,” said Laurie.

Karl finished her sentence. “So we can do all the things we had planned,” he said.

Karter’s family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with his medical expenses. If you would like to make a donation, click on this link.

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