HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Memorial Day weekend is the beginning of summer sports across the country.
With parents back in the stands and no outdoor mask mandate, parks across the state of Hawaii were full, but none as full of aloha as Aina Hina.
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There were 18 baseball games were held from Saturday to Monday, all to support a teammate battling a brain tumor.
“It’s bigger than baseball” has been the motto all weekend, but baseball was big enough to lift the spirits of 12-year-old Brayden Bello.
Brayden loves baseball. One day he wants to play in the Major Leagues, but for now he just enjoys being around his teammates.
“Just playing with my friends having fun. That’s what I like,” Brayden said.
But in January, he felt different during practice — not well, with nausea and even vomiting.
“Started getting dizzy,” Brayden added. “A lot more dizzy and headaches.”
He had to stop playing.
Then, two weeks ago, finally feeling well enough to play he and his family were struck with devastating news.
“He had an MRI that showed that he had a 1.3 centimeter tumor,” Brayden’s mom Carolyn said. “So that’s where we’re at right now.”
Brayden’s baseball community got right to work, creating a goodwill series of games this weekend with six games per day. Shirts, a raffle, a silent auction, and a GoFundMe with proceeds all going to the Bello family to help with medical costs.
Brayden was the star of the weekend.
“When he couldn’t do anything, ,” Brayden’s dad Richard said. “We were like oh. We were depressed but now we were watching him pitch. He pitched three innings on Saturday. Yesterday he went up to bat 3-3.”
Bello strong shirts and Brayden’s number 6 could be seen all over the fields.
“Everything we did, the team cheer was Brayden Bello the whole week,” said Richard.
It’s made Brayden feel a little more normal.
“Feeling better with all of the support it’s keeping me up because I’m playing with all of my friends,” said Brayden.
If he’s feeling well, it’s a big relief for mom and dad.
“You got everybody’s support all of the baseball community: old coaches, friends, family,” Richard said. “We’ll get through this.”