The Ritchie County women’s softball league held a charity tournament this weekend to help two families in need, including a former player.
“What started out diagnosed as a concussion has turned into they don’t know what it is. I have been unable to work, I have been unable to, pretty much live my life with no income coming in whatsoever. I can’t walk on my own. I can’t … I have no basic structure of a life whatsoever. My vision is messed up. I can’t drive. I can’t do anything,” said Jennifer Hinton, a former player.
Jennifer fell a year ago, suffering a head injury. Symptoms and effects from the fall never went away.
“It hurt when I was told I was never going to be able to play again. It was the worst feeling in the world. But to be here and to still be loved and to still be a part of this, this is just the most remarkable thing that a person could ever feel,” Hinton said.
Players on the field were also playing for Khloe Casto, who’s fighting her own battle.
“She was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in August. And now we’re just trying to get her better, and going through treatment every month, a couple times a week actually,” said Sara Casto, Khloe’s mother.
Khloe is receiving treatment in Morgantown, and will be for the next two years. Doctors are hoping after that, the disease will be in complete remission.
“She’s doing fantastic. She’s going to act really shy right now, but she’s a very outgoing little girl, and likes to talk to everybody. And she’s been so strong, especially with getting all these treatments,” said Sara Casto.
Along with home run sponsors, and general donations, money came from ticket sales of various prizes to be won on Sunday night.
Nearly $7,000 were raised Saturday, and good weather Sunday brought a better crowd and more donations totaling over $9,400 dollars on the second day of the tournament.
The Castos aren’t from Harrisville, or Ritchie County at all. They live in neighboring Wood County. That didn’t stop the people of Ritchie County from helping.
“A whole bunch of people I didn’t even know just came up and they talked to us like they knew us like we were family. And everybody just knows Khloe now. And it’s kind of weird, but it’s amazing to come somewhere where you don’t know anyone but they all know you,” Sara Casto said.
The charity tournament has been an annual occurrence since Angie Merritt started the league five years ago, but the tournament benefiting one of their own made it all the more important to those involved.
“Without this league, I wouldn’t have met these people. I wouldn’t have known these people. Never in my life would I have met this many women or anything. But I’ve got them all, and my daughter has this many more moms. I’ve got this many more sisters. We’re family. It’s more than a league. We’re a family,” said Jennifer Hinton.
Jennifer continues to raise her 14 year-old daughter,
She was just released from the hospital Tuesday. She is still waiting on results of recent blood work, but once those results come back, she’s planning on seeking further medical attention in Cleveland.
If you would like to donate to help either Jennifer or Khloe, you can reach out through the league’s Facebook page.