Rhodes baseball team adopts cancer patient

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Aiden Taylor, 12, is battling cancer and just finished a round of chemotherapy but Sunday morning, but none of that mattered on his signing day.

The Rhodes baseball team welcomed Aiden to the league as an adopted player.

"It's a special day because we love what we do and it's our passion and it's special to share our passion with Aiden over here and let him be a part of our team," said Carter King, a Rhodes College baseball player.

"It's a big opportunity for all of us to share his story and what it means to him," said Rhodes player Paul Giamcomazzi.

It's an opportunity made possible by the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, an organization established by a young girl, Jaclyn Murphy, diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Her wish was to help every sick child find a sports team friendship.

This isn't the first time the team has adopted a player. In the batting cage, the baseball team dedicated a plaque to their first adopted teammates Derek Thomas Vincent.

The coach said that this experience has been uplifting for everyone involved.

"He passed a couple years back, but the experience for Derek and the team, we're just trying to give back as much as we can," said Jeff Cleanthes, Rhodes College athletic director and baseball coach.

Aiden is a man of few words but said he has proven baseball experience to play at a college level.

"I played in kindergarten and second grade," Aiden said.

His parents said it's an uphill battle for Aiden but with this type of support, they're ready to strike out cancer.

"It means a lot to him because he knows he's special to be here," said Lisa Taylor, Aiden's mom.

"This is really hard for the child and the families and if we can bring some type of joy and love to them...I think it puts things in perspective a little bit," said Cleanthes.

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