Alström Angels hold BEEPball tournament

Alström Angels hold BEEPball tournament

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Alström Syndrome affects less than a handful of patients in Texas.

It is such a rare disease world wide, most people have not even heard of it. It is characterized by the progressive loss of vision and hearing and can cause serious or even life threatening medical problems. 

"When our family got this horrible diagnosis for Bryce we were of course devastated by that but then we learned that because it's so rare, there was less than $100,000 every year to research treatments and a cure for kids like Bryce." said Cassie Johnston, founder of Alström Angels. 

Her daughter is one of four in Texas with the disease and on of only 900 in the world to have ever been diagnosed. To help fight back, the family works to raise awareness and money though creative ways such as beep ball.

"We knew that we had to do something but we had to do something to raise awareness so more people have heard of it and they want to start supporting and giving to fund more research to find that cure."

The Amarillo Assassins came to Lubbock just for the tournament. It gives several players an opportunity to play a game they have not been able to enjoy in years.

"I grew up playing baseball as a kid but when I lost part of my vision that became impossible and here I can get back on the field again and have some great fellowship and camaraderie," said Jerry Raab, a player for the Assassins. 

The spin on baseball simulate the vision loss associated with Alström Syndrome.

"The balls and the bases beep and that way the players who don't have sight can use their ears to play the game of baseball," Johnston said. "If a player gets a hit, there's just a first and a third base. The player doesn't know which one is going to start buzzing They get a hit, one of those bases starts buzzing and they have to make it to the base, tag it before the fielders get possession of the ball."

She said 20 teams signed up for this years tournament making it the largest one yet.

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