Carson Busby has played baseball since he was 4.
Whether with Martinez-Evans Little League or the Georgia RiverDawgs travel team, the 9-year-old Lewiston Elementary student has seemingly always been on the baseball field.
That makes his presence off the diamond this year unusual. He hasn't been able to play since being diagnosed with pre-B cell ALL, a type of leukemia.
"He is a tough kid. He's a fighter, and we almost lost him," said Kristin Busby, his mother. "He had a very rare side effect to one of the (chemotherapy) drugs."
Treatment lasts more than three years, which means Carson and his family -- Kristin; his father, Jim; and 15-year-old brother Cameron -- have a long road ahead.
Now, some of his fellow baseball players are going to bat to try to help ease the burden on his family, organizing a camp to benefit them.
Lakeside High senior Heath Durand and Greenbrier High senior Will Price were searching for a senior project. In the end, the baseball players chose to conduct the camp.
Durand and Price heard about Carson and decided to help. The pair used some connections to lure professional baseball players and former Greenbrier stars Rich Poythress and Jeff Rowland, along with former Atlanta Braves pitcher Macay McBride, to join the cause.
The three will be on hand Saturday at Kelley Field in Martinez as instructors for Carson Busby's Day with the Pros.
The camp for ages 8-15 will start at 9 a.m. and end at 1 p.m. The cost is $75 per child and includes lunch and a camp T-shirt.
"It's nice that they're willing to donate their time to help," Kristin Busby said. "Not just to help Carson, but to help all the kids that come through the camp. Give them some pointers and help their game."
Poythress, who attended the University of Georgia, is a first baseman in the Seattle Mariners' organization. Rowland attended Georgia Tech before moving on to play center field in the Detroit Tigers' organization.
McBride's name came up because Price's mother, Jessica, was born in Screven County and knows his parents.
Durand sees the camp as an opportunity to give back to a fellow baseball player.
"It's a great experience that will help out a kid who has leukemia," he said. "I know his family is going through a hard time. I know he is, too. So we just want to do something to help his family out."
Price said that while he doesn't know McBride, he sees Poythress and Rowland as ideal role models to bring in for the camp.
"Work hard at everything you do," Price said when asked what the two players advise young players. "We're just trying to keep everything positive when everything's negative."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.