Terminally ill Alabama dad gets to see son play baseball one last time

WATCH ABOVE: A Prattville, Alabama father with stage 4 colon cancer got the chance to see his 11-year-old son play baseball for what may be the last time. Kacey Drescher reports.

A Prattville, Alabama father who has colon cancer is getting the chance to see his son play baseball for what may be the last time.

Gary Parrish was diagnosed with the stage 4 cancer and metastasis to his liver in June. Three months later, Parrish’s doctors stopped his treatments because his body wasn’t responding to the medications.

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The declining health of Parrish has taken its toll on his 11-year-old son, Ryan. Parrish, a baseball enthusiast, went to every one of his son’s games last year.

“When [Ryan] first got out here, he didn’t have a whole lot of focus and I found out why,” said the boy’s baseball coach, Caison Whatley to WSFA News.

“He’s got a whole lot more on his mind than we could ever have,” he added.

That’s when Whatley decided to do something for the Parrish family they’d be able to remember forever – Whatley went to the city and asked for the recreational baseball season to be pushed up by a week in order for Gary Parrish to see his son play one last time.

“We want to give Ryan something to cherish for the rest of his life and this may be it,” said Whatley.

With Ryan wearing number 21 – the same number his dad wore as a young athlete – he stood on top of the pitching mound, hoping to get “just strikes.”

“[My dad] might not be here for all the other games and tonight’s very special because he gets to come,” said Ryan.

“It’s not all about the wins. It’s about what you can do for that child, give him everlasting memories.,” said Whatley to WSFA.


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