PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) – Arnold softball player, Josyln Meade, was thrown the biggest curveball of her life this season, when she was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia.
CML is a form of Leukemia so rare that only around 150 children in the U.S. are diagnosed each year.
“It was scary,” Meade said. “Because we didn’t know what sure type it was, like how strong it was, what I was going through, like it was just very scary for me.”
The diagnoses came in January, right before softball season, and her coach, Rick Green, says she didn’t think she would be able to continue playing.
“She said coach, I think I’m going to need to quit softball,” Green said. “Because I can’t do what these other girls are doing, and I wouldn’t let her quit. I said baby, we’re right here for you. I said whenever you can come, you’re here.”
Meade has a deep love for softball, and made varsity her freshman year, not no being able to play was one of the things she feared the most.
“I was losing hope for myself, and I just didn’t think that I could do it,” Meade said. “But now I’m like getting back into it, so it’s okay.”
Meade was only able to play in a few games this season, so one of her main objectives during treatment is to be back on the diamond for her junior season.
“Being an athlete, you have to be ready for anything, and like always like be on your game,” Meade said. “And I feel like being an athlete has helped me through this because I’ve been going through it and I’ve been ready for anything just trying to win I guess.”
Winning the battle with cancer is the ultimate goal for the Meade, and she says without her teammates, he fight wouldn’t be the same.
“They’ve been very supportive,” Meade said. “Like they’ve held my hair up throwing up in the bathroom, like they, I love them, they’ve really helped me feel better about it.”
Meade has rooted her team on every step of the way this season, and her coach says her positive spirit has been a reminder to what the game is all about.
“That’s the thing softball and sports are about,” Green said. “It’s not winning ball games, it’s about winning hearts. And she won my heart, and a lot of other people hearts in this county.”
Battling cancer was something Meade never expected to go through at her age, as she is only 15-years-old, but she hopes to be an inspiration for others looking for the energy to fight.
“Just keep working through it,” Meade said. “It’s going to get better. It always gets better. So, just keep working through it.”