The Santa Barbara High baseball team is partnering with the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation to adopt an honorary team member for the upcoming spring season, an effort to connect children battling pediatric brain tumors and other childhood cancers to positive influences in the community.
At 6 p.m. on Sept. 19, the team will host an adoption ceremony at the school’s auditorium to welcome 7-year-old Elijah Vargas to the team.
Elijah was diagnosed with a cerebellum brain tumor in June 2017 at the age of 5, but still pushes himself to be a normal child, attending Vieja Valley Elementary School with his brother, Noah.
The prognosis for Elijah is uncertain, as the tumor could grow with him, or chemotherapy and surgery could be on the horizon.
The purpose of the adoption is to give Elijah a safe space to be a kid, interacting with and learning from a multitude of teenagers, parents and coaches.
“Eli is a very special little boy and I know the relationships built between players and Eli will be amazing and last a lifetime,” Dons coach Steve Schuck said.
The adoption ceremony is open to the public.