Posts Tagged ‘xeroderma pigmentosum’

Stricken Kids + Yankee Stadium = Dreams Come True

August 20, 2009

Imagine being a kid with a rare disease that keeps you isolated from life. Now imagine getting a brief reprieve from that nightmarish existence where, for one night, you can simply enjoy being a kid. As columnist Rick Reilly wrote in ESPN The Magazine, the New York Yankees went to great lengths to make that dream come true.

rick-reilly

Rick Reilly

The team facing Yankees ace A.J. Burnett a few weeks back at Yankee Stadium has to go down as the oddest in baseball history.

For one thing, it plays only at night. The players have no choice. Even one minute of sunshine can kill them.

They’re from Camp Sundown, in Craryville, N.Y., and they live life on the other side of the sun. All of them have the rare disease known as XP — xeroderma pigmentosum. If kids with XP catch the slightest UV ray, they can and do develop cancerous tumors. Even fluorescent lights fry their skin like boiling oil. Most of them don’t live to be 20.

So how could they take the field at Yankee Stadium? Because this was 3 a.m. Superstar right-handers should be tucked into bed by then, yet there was Burnett, throwing Wiffle-ball splitters and chasing down line drives.

There is no cure for XP. If you’re born with it, you’re (more…)