Knoxville baseball tournament helps to ‘Bring the Thunder’ to childhood cancer

As of September 2020 Bring the Thunder has raised $88,219 for area families.
Published: May. 3, 2021 at 9:32 AM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - When you boil it down, Alex Grappin just wants to be a kid again.

“I want to jog with this guy again,” Alex said as he pointed back to his dad. He was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia almost three years ago. After eight months of treatment, Alex hit a snag in his recovery and had to learn to walk and talk again.

“You can’t help but compare it to how things were before,” says Alex’s dad Tony. “The way Alex puts it, the ‘before’ time for him was ‘when I was running’. So any time he has a question - he just asked me five minutes ago - ‘what did my voice sound like when I was running?’

Alex is this year’s beneficiary for the Bring the Thunder For Childhood Cancer baseball tournament. John Lane started the event in 2017 after his own son’s battle with a medical condition inspired him to give back to area kids.

“You can’t manage time. You manage what you do in relation to time and when things are important to you, you make time for them and that’s what we do. Sleep is overrated,” Lane says of the long hours it takes to organize an event of this size.

“It’s really mind-blowing the amount of effort and time they put into this and what they do for families that have been adversely affected by childhood cancer,” Tony Grappin said.

As of September 2020 Bring the Thunder has raised $88,219 for area families.

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