BREWER – The youth baseball community lost one of its own in 2019 when Brady Nickerson passed away after a battle with bone cancer, but today the efforts to sustain his memory were reinvigorated by a generous donation.
Through pain can come promise, and the Nickerson family has used the pain in the loss of their son Brady to help other kids live their baseball dreams.
“We don’t want a child to think ‘I can’t play because I can’t afford it,’ we want it open to be able to give that opportunity that may not play because they can’t afford it,” said Angel Nickerson.
In the wake of the passing of former Sluggers player Brady Nickerson in May of 2019 after a battle with pediatric osteosarcoma, his family established a foundation in his name dedicated to growing the game. Fundraising was jump-started Wednesday by a $5,000 donation from Nickerson & O’Day president/CEO and Sluggers founder, Karl Ward.
“One of the things I didn’t envision was going to the funeral of a young man being buried in his Sluggers uniform and watching pallbearers in Sluggers uniforms, it was an incredibly moving experience, I don’t mind telling you it moved me to tears and before I walk out of there I told [Sluggers] general manager Brandon Portwine…we have to initiate some sort of goodness out of terrible tragedy,” said War.
Ward is encouraging matching his donation to the Brady Nickerson Foundation, to double their ability to carry on Brady’s name. Some donations have already started, including $1000 Brady’s grandparents raised through a yard sale.
“That would really keep us going, hopefully for awhile and help us get established in this community to keep moving more and more fundraisers and keep his memory going,” said Brady’s father, Preston Nickerson.
The money raised will fund pediatric osteosarcoma awareness and research, and multiple scholarships: one for a Sluggers player, one for a Glenburn Middle School graduate, one for a child to attend the UMaine baseball summer camp.
“Children’s cancer is a big piece and one of the saddest facts in the world and when this happened, I said this is a no-brainer, let’s get University of Maine involved, it’s near and dear to my heart,” said UMaine baseball head coach Nick Derba.
For more information and to donate, visit teambrady.org.