Traumatic brain injury survivor gets help from 'Homers for Hope'

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Sunday, July 24, 2022
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For local baseball fans with big hearts, the pitch was simple: help pay the bills for families in need.

DOYLESTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- For local baseball fans with big hearts, the pitch was simple: help pay the bills for families in need.

"About 11 years ago, a really good guy that we played baseball with, he died in a really untimely accident. He was roughly 30 years old," said Homers for Hope co-founder John Durso. "So, we did a home run derby to help his wife pay some bills."

It started with a few friends raising a few hundred dollars. After a few years went by, they started to swing for the fences. From home run derbies to competitive teams, the organization has found ways to raise roughly $325,000 to help 30 families.

"So all in all, there's probably 100 to 150 volunteers that raise money to be part of our program," said Durso. "So, we've been doing this just all on our spare time. We found a way to kind of marry our love for baseball and softball with philanthropy."

One of the recipients was the Thorpe family, whose lives changed in June 2021 following a family party. While aiding her aunt and mother out of the car, Renee Thorpe was knocked to the ground and suffered a traumatic brain injury.

"That baseball sound reminds me of it every day," she said. "But then, I have to learn everything all over again. And now I am legally blind."

Thorpe, who worked with special needs students, became unable to drive or work at all. Between medical visits and therapy, the financial stress on her family became a heavy burden.

"Homers for Hope helped us and gave us a check for a little over $10,000 that paid the overpayment of the school district and my insurance for the school district," said Thorpe. "I wouldn't have any means to pay them. I'm thankful for them that they did."

Anyone interested in learning more about upcoming fundraisers or volunteer opportunities with Homers for Hope can visit their website.

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