Jace and his twin sister, Macy, did not have an easy start in life.
Born in grave condition in September of 2013, their mother, Cheri, was told that they may not live. Ten years later, both are alive and well, and work through the conditions that they've had since birth. Jace has distal arthrogryposis that affects his hands and feet, and he also had a tethered spinal cord. Macy is partially deaf.
Jace's condition led his family from near Omaha, Nebraska, to Shriners Children's Twin Cities for treatment. Two years ago, they met Bob, a Tangier Shriner, and his wife, Barb, and have become great friends. Over the years, they have attended many events at Tangier Shrine Center in Omaha, as well as the Nebraska Shrine Bowl.
Earlier this summer, Bob learned about Jace's love for baseball. He also learned about his struggle to find a glove that fits his hand properly, as his hands are deformed due to his condition. Jace has undergone surgery to correct the webbing, but his fingers are still smaller than most children his age. Wanting to help Jace acquire the proper equipment to feed his love of the game, Bob contacted his fellow Shriner, Joe. Joe is the general manager of a local sports store, and is also a baseball coach.
Joe worked with one of his representatives from Wilson Sporting Goods, who met with Jace, then measured and took videos of his hand.
I love my new glove, I didn't think I would ever be able to find one that fit my hand.
A few months later, Bob asked Cheri and Jace to come to a meeting at the Tangier Shrine Center location to speak to the group. When they arrived at the meeting, Cheri noticed cameras and reporters, and she knew that the glove was ready for Jace! Sure enough, Jace received a huge surprise that night – a Wilson baseball glove that was the perfect, custom fit!
"It was one of the best days ever for me to see my son with the biggest smile on his face!" said Cheri.
Shortly after the story spread around Omaha about Jace receiving his glove, Cheri was contacted by the Omaha Storm Chasers baseball team. He was invited to throw out the first pitch at their August 26 game against the St. Paul Saints!
"I love my new glove, I didn't think I would ever be able to find one that fit my hand," said Jace. "I want other kids to know that what you might think is impossible can be possible!"
Jace's love for baseball continues to grow through the awesome experiences he's had recently. From a custom-made Wilson baseball glove to throwing out the first pitch at a minor league baseball game, he's having the best time!
Jace loves his new baseball glove, courtesy of Wilson Sporting Goods!
Jace with Shriner Joe Burtzell, his sister Macy, and Shriner Bob Duff at the Omaha Storm Chasers baseball game, where he was invited to throw the first pitch.
Pictured: Jace and Macy as babies, and the twins walking together. Jace and his twin sister, Macy, love enjoying experiences together.
Pictured: Jace wearing boots and bar, and Jace's feet after surgery. Jace has gone through many different treatments for his distal arthrogryposis that affects his hands and feet.