Yvonne Pilotte, a 46-year-old local baseball player has stepped up to organize a slo-pitch tournament on behalf of an Aldergrove family whose 5-year-old son is battling leukemia.
Sylas – described as a “very outgoing” child “with a heart of gold” was recently diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia.
Pilote first heard the news from the boy’s father, Jason O’Riley, who also plays in the Aldergrove mixed slo-pitch league.
An Aldergrove resident of 12 years, Pilote admitted she broke down crying after learning what O’Rileys are going through.
Sylas has been undergoing chemotherapy at BC Children’s Hospital since April 8, and is expected to have a three year journey ahead of him with subsequent medical procedures.
“I just can’t imagine what they’re going through,” Pilote told the Aldergrove Star, fighting back tears.
“Struggling to do and pay for everything.”
Pilote is organizing the event with the help of by her 26-year-old son, who also met O’Riley through baseball.
The tournament is set for Aug. 10 and 11 at Jackman Park’s northeast and southwest diamonds, adjacent to Parkside Centennial Elementary School.
Pilote is pushing for the “community to pull together” in this time, she said, and register as one of the 12 teams on the roster.
She currently has seven teams signed up, with an entry fee of $375 per group, but is looking to fill five more spots.
“Money raised will be presented to the O’Riley’s right after the last game,” Pilote assured.
The last slo-pitch match is expected to start between 2:30 and 4 p.m. on Sunday (Aug. 11), with the weekend-long tournament beginning early Saturday morning.
Pilote expects food trucks, door prizes, a 50/50 draw and raffle tickets to be available for public purchase during the event.
“We’re hoping to raise enough money to send the family on a trip to Disneyland, to allow them some quality time together which they haven’t had much since Sylas’ diagnosis,” Pilote emphasized.
To sign up a baseball team folks can contact Pilote by phone at 604-866-3233.
Other donations to the O’Riley family can be made out to TD Canada Trust’s O’Riley Fund by contacting Pilote by email at email@example.com.