In The Community
Besides playing baseball, Brian McCann is very active in his community. He enjoys giving back and helping others. Some of what he does is behind the scenes. Brian is involved with the following:
- McCann 16 Home Run Challenge (Click Here to Donate)
When a professional athlete chooses a charity, there’s usually both a spouse and a story behind that choice. Ashley McCann, the wife of Braves catcher Brian McCann, said they picked a cause that reflects their values and Atlanta roots.
Brian and I met in seventh grade. I thought boys had cooties, but I liked him anyway. We started dating in 10th grade and got married in 2007. Both Brian and I come from great families who taught and instilled in each of us how important it is to “give back.”
After Brian got called up, it was the perfect time and opportunity for us to do just that. Brian and I are so blessed that we have the ability to impact and help others out. We’ve also been blessed to have others supporting our endeavors. Brian’s agent, B.B. Abbott introduced us to Dean Crowe, the founder and CEO of the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research (Rally).
We immediately felt that we had found a mission that we could be passionate about! One child with cancer is one too many. Forty-six children are diagnosed with cancer each and every day. We are hoping to bring attention to this. We have met many of these children, and it is no longer a statistic; it is reality.
The first Rally Kid we met was 9-year-old Alexa Rohrbach, who was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma, an aggressive type of cancer, at age 1. After three years of treatment and four years of returning to a healthy life, Alexa was faced with horrible long-term side effects, such as severe lung issues and spinal-fusion surgery, that resulted from her treatment. For the next two years, we witnessed everything Alexa and her family went through, including the return of her cancer after 10 years.
We visited her in the hospital right before she got her angel wings. It changed us. These kids should be out playing ball, eating ice cream and enjoying their young lives, instead of receiving chemo and radiation.
Brian is just amazing with all children, but especially with our Rally Kids. You can’t help but fall in love with each of them. You become part of their family. We definitely feel that we have found a home with Rally, and we would love for others to learn more about this great charity as well.
Brian made his “McCann 16 Home Run Challenge” asking people to donate $1.60, $16 or $160 for each home run that he hits this season. It all adds up, and we are hoping that it will equal a cure for the kids. We are so thankful to be in a position where we can, hopefully, make a difference for these amazing children and their families.
–As told to Michelle Hiskey
By Michelle Hiskey
For the AJC