Riverheads' pitcher plays through nervous system disease

Published: May. 9, 2018 at 11:22 PM EDT
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A Riverheads High School star pitcher is keeping his head in the game, even after a rare disease took his arm out.

But, he's not out for good.

The senior started a game for the first time this season Tuesday night.

"It's been kinda a whirlwind," Andrew Gollaway said.

Instead of counting his strikeouts and ERAs, Andrew Golladay has been counting down the days.

"The diagnosis came in January. Actually, I went in, thought I had some elbow pain and came out in a neck brace," Andrew said.

That diagnosis was Hirayama's Disease, a pinch in his spinal chord that prevents the nerve signal from reaching the muscles in Andrew's hands.

"I thought what is that? I had never heard of it," he said.

All he knew, it was the reason he could not play his entire senior season.

"Some games I just really wish I was out there," Andrew said.

But for one night of his senior year, he left his brace in the dugout and set out for the mound.

"It was unreal! It just felt like that was where I was supposed to be," Andrew said.

But more impressive than his determination to play is his character on display every day from the dugout.

"You gotta have some faith," Andrew said. "I have a lot of faith. Sometimes you don't know why stuff happens. I mean this is crazy. But I'm here."

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