The Palestine High School softball team is currently in the middle of a toy drive.
But it's not just any kind of toy — these are Legos we're talking about.
Palestine head coach Regis Andrez and players are currently accepting Legos as part of the mission started by a 10-year old Cleburne boy named Brody Nelson who was stricken with cancer. The initiative is called “Legos for Little Warriors.”
On Jan. 8, 2017, Nelson's parents rushed Brody to the hospital after he was unable to awaken from sleep.
Brody was discovered to have a plum-sized tumor on his brain, as reported in a story by Lisa Magers in sister CNHI newspaper, the Cleburne Times-Review. He had extensive surgery to remove the growth, which was later determined to be malignant.
The Nelson family eventually turned to St. Jude Research Hospital, where Brody underwent a new style of treatment called “Star Trek.” After several months in this advanced treatment program, Brody is healthy — and no new tumor growth has been detected.
The idea for the “Lego drive” was born in September during Nelson's participation in Fort Worth's St. Jude Walk and Run to End Childhood Cancer.
“We organized a team for the walk, and raised more than $6,000,” Courtney Nelson, Brody's mother, said. “More than $1,600 was contributed in Brody’s name. During the walk, he turned to me and said, ‘Do you know how many Legos that would buy for St. Jude kids?’”
Nelson requested Legos to share with other children as a present for his birthday, which was celebrated in October.
Several Cleburne High School baseball players attended his party, and gave Legos as gifts.
The Dallas Stars' National Hockey League team also has participated in this endeavor, and Nelson became one of Klinger's Kids (Dallas Stars defender John Klingberg).
Now, Palestine softball has joined in the effort.
“Palestine coach (Regis) Andrez is a CHS graduate, and a good friend of the Nelsons,” said Cleburne softball coach Paul Chavez in Magers' story. “We are very excited about the opportunity to involve our students in a good cause for a brave, young man.”
Palestine softball accepted Legos as a donation at Monday's scrimmage versus Groveton.
The team also will have a booth set up during tonight's District 19-4A basketball doubleheader between Palestine and Mexia, so bring your Legos (in unopened boxes).
Boxes filled with Legos will presented to Nelson and his family before Saturday's scrimmage between Palestine and Cleburne.
“Legos just take you away,” Brody told Magers. “You can build so many things or whatever you want. I know about those kids who are sick in the hospital and can’t go home. I knew if I could bring them Legos it would make them feel a little bit better. I kind of feel like Santa Claus. I’m Lego Santa.”
Donations to the Legos for Little Warriors project may be taken or mailed to 1110 W. Westhill, Cleburne, TX 76033.
To view the video of Brody’s appearance at the Stars game: foxsports.com/southwest/video/1379025475508.