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Sports Helping Nine-Year-Old Fight Cerebral Palsy

Cuba Third Grader Loves to Play Softball

FAIRVIEW, Ill. - Softball is the favorite sport of Elizabeth Kaiser.

The soon-to-be third grader at Cuba Elementary School just finished her season with the team "Cleats and Chaos."

"I just love playing," Kaiser said. "And most of the girls don't make fun of me that I'm small."

She may be small in size but she's big in heart. Rae Rae, as she's called, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was two.

"She's overcome a lot. At first she wasn't going to be able to write her name or ride a bicycle," said Elizabeth's mother Samantha Kaiser. "To overcome everything the doctor said she wasn't going to do, we're very blessed."

Three years ago, she came home from school and asked her mom if she could play tee ball. Now Kaiser, 9, can't get enough of softball.

"She faces challenges thrown her way. She excels at everything," said her softball coach Heidi Brown. "She's made big improvements just this season alone. She's doing great. She runs out there and hangs with them."

Kaiser had surgery on her Achilles tendon last November but plays without leg braces. And without fear.

Softball is helping Elizabeth Kaiser with her mobility and muscles. It's helping her get stronger.

"I love running because of my leg. I excercise and stuff," Kaiser said. "At first I was afraid I'd get hit by the ball but my dad taught me to toughen up."

Kaiser just finished her third season of softball in the Kickapoo Valley League and she is already looking forward to playing next summer.

"I always like getting trophies," Kaiser said. "(Softball) is just my favorite thing because I just like to have fun."   


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