WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) — After a Waynesboro boy lived his dream of being a player with the Washington Nationals through the Make a Wish Foundation, the team's season took a turn toward victory.
Parker Staples with Washington Nationals players. | Credit: Jessica Staples.
Parker Staples was invited back to the field on Monday in hopes of bringing his good luck to the series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
10-year-old Parker was diagnosed with lymphoma back in 2017.
"There were good days and there were bad days," Parker's mother, Jessica Staples, said. "He always kept a positive attitude and kept his faith."
He and his family decided to make the best of what was a horrible situation.
"He's had so many opportunities since then, from being signed with the UVA baseball team through Team IMPACT to now having these opportunities with the Washington Nationals through the Make a Wish," Staples said.
On May 24, Parker got to be part of the Nationals baseball team for a day.
"You can choose anything, but I just... My favorite team is the Nats, and I just thought it would be really cool to spend the day with them," Parker said.
He even got to throw out the first pitch.
"That's when they turned their season around, they were going from a losing season, then they were starting to win," Staples said.
After that pitch, the team considered Parker to be good luck, and they invited him to throw out the first pitch at the game on Monday against the St. Louis Cardinals.
"Not a lot of kids get to do that, and I'm very lucky and just very grateful for doing that and happy," Parker said.
Parker has been in remission for about a year and half now, by following the Nationals motto of "staying in the fight."
But not every child battling cancer gets the same outcome, and Staples wants to bring more awareness to this disease.
"A lot of these kids that are dealing with this... They are staying in the fight. They too are fighters," Staples said.
And Parker hopes as he continues to fight, his favorite team wins their fight for the title of champions – especially after his luck seemed to pay off against the Cardinals.
"I hope they invite me back to the World Series," Parker said.