Some kids are just mature beyond their years.
Union Local fourth grader Kaden Koscoe falls into that category.
After being diagnosed with the incurable neurological condition Chiari Malformation, which affects just 300,000 people, at the age of five, Koscoe may have had to mature quicker than he would have liked.
Union Local fourth grader Kaden Koscoe was diagnosed at age five with the incurable neurological condition Chiari Malformation. His family organized the inaugural Kaden Classic Pinto Baseball Tournament and donated the proceeds to the Conquer Chiari Foundation. This year, however, Kaden asked if his family would instead donate the proceeds of the event to a local family in need.
Everything is going quite well for Koscoe in terms of his health. His latest trip to Columbus for his routine checkups went extremely well, and he enjoyed a great season of Mustang baseball in the Union Local Junior Sports and was actually chosen for all-stars, but turned it down so he could "go fishing, play outside, see some (Pirates') games and just have fun."
Not everything is going quite so well for others as Kaden has realized, which led him to approach his parents - Andy and Kara - about donating the proceeds of the upcoming second annual Kaden Classic Pinto Baseball Tournament to a local family, which suffered a loss during a tragic accident recently.
The proceeds of the inaugural Kaden Classic were donated to the Conquer Chiari Foundation, but when Kaden approached his parents about donating to a local family, they were more than receptive.
"It made me really proud of him when he mentioned that to his dad and me," said Kara. "It's been an emotional situation, obviously. So, to be able to do something for people and be in the position to be able to help is a great feeling. It makes Andy and I proud to know that we're raising the kids to learn the right things to do and help other people."
Prior to the tragic incident in March, the Koscoes had all intentions of bringing the Kaden Classic back this year, but had planned on donating the money to the Chiari Foundation.
"The incident happened in March and it was probably April that Kaden came to us and said, 'it would be a great idea to donate the proceeds to the family," Kara said. "The family we're helping was very grateful and they actually tried to talk us out of it, but our whole family has come together to help out and it's something we wanted to do."
The ability to help other people through an event that bears his name makes Kaden "feel extremely proud inside."
"I am excited for the tournament," Kaden said. "It's nice to be able to help other people."
Registration for the tournament is still ongoing. Kara said just five teams had registered as of last Thursday.
The entry fee is $125 per team, but for those teams registering by July 15, the cost is $100. Every player in the tournament will receive a trophy and there will be a Most Valuable Player named in every game of the event.
"Registration hasn't been going as well as we thought or hoped," Kara said. "The first year, we had 12 teams. It's been advertised and we've only got five teams so far, and we're definitely hoping for a few more."
The inaugural Kaden Classic was held in 2010. Because the family was in the midst of moving, there was no 2011 tournament.
"The first year of the tournament went great," Kara said. "We were just overwhelmed with the support we received."
The tournament, which will be held at the youth sports field in Flushing, is being held from Aug. 1-5.
"We're basically running the tournament the same way," Kara said. "Everyone seemed really pleased with how it went two years ago, so we've taken the same approach."
Though the Kaden Classic will benefit the local family, the Koscoe's are once again planning the local version of the Conquer Chiari 5K Walk Across America on Sept. 22 at Barkcamp State Park.
Walks to benefit Chiari research are held across the country on the same day. The financial goal of the area walk, which isn't competitive, is $10,000.
"We thought about making it a competitive walk, but we have people come from all over who have Chiari and a lot of kids, so we just decided to keep it as a fun thing," Kara said. "We've got prizes, food, snacks, raffles and entertainment for all ages, so it's a really fun thing for everyone."
For more information about the Kaden Classic or the Conquer Chiari Walk, contact Kara Koscoe at 740-968-0527 or 740-310-7915 or via email at email@example.com
Staskey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org