BUIES CREEK – Gabby Hernandez is Campbell baseball’s biggest fan. If you’ve been in a game since 2016, you’ve probably seen her in the stands in a wheelchair wearing her orange Campbell jersey, with the family by her side, and smiles and waves coming from the players.
Now 13 years old, Gabby has struggled with a number of medical conditions since she was six months old and has been in and out of hospital ever since. She has suffered brain loss in the form of cerebral atrophy, respiratory failure half a dozen times and has been diagnosed with a handful of other conditions.
When Gabby and her family started attending Campbell baseball games in 2016, a special bond was formed.
“The Campbell baseball guys have given her something to look forward to, and I strongly believe they are part of the reason she’s still here and doing as well as she is,” said Gabby’s mother.
Gabby’s family has been faced with more difficult decisions than anyone should have made, and has witnessed several miracles involving her health.
Gabby has many ambitions, hoping to travel when it becomes safer to see mountains, beaches, Disney World again (having previously been part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation), and Australia. She also wants to go to an MLB game and throw out a first pitch at a baseball game.
As the bonds between Gabby and the team have continued to grow over the past five years, both at Jim Perry Stadium and the Johnston County Miracle League, the camels are now looking for more ways to give back and help her family make those dreams come true.
Catcher Ty Babin said: “During my 5 years here at Campbell, there have been a few staples in our program – Gabby is one of them. Gabby and her family are a constant presence at our games and are an intricate part of our Campbell Baseball family. Their support and love for our program is unmatched. Her story, her strength and her loving personality drive us as players to become better people in everyday life. The bonds and relationships she has built with our team are so incredibly special and irreplaceable “I am so honored to have been involved in organizing this fundraiser to show Gabby and her family the same love and support they have shown us all these years. We love you Gabs!”
Infielder Waldy Arias said: “GABBYYY our # 1 fan! Ever since I came to Campbell you have been appearing to us whether it is training or a match. You became like a little sister to the baseball team Campbell. My favorite memory was during Halloween when you and Babs were dressed up like Scooby-Doo. Your smile that day is something I will never forget. We love you! “
Ryan Chasse is a pitcher. “Gabby has been a fixture on so many of our matches since I came to campus in 2018, and supported me on the road and here at Jim Perry Stadium. Her smile and laughter are contagious and bring a smile to my face every time I see her. We can not wait to give back to our special fan who has supported us in the circumstances for so long! ”
This year, Campbell will host the first Turkey derby on December 3 at Jim Perry Stadium with 100 percent of the proceeds donated to Gabby and her family.
From 2.30pm, fans can pay to enter the Jim Perry Stadium and take stroke training on the field. The home game derby for the team starts at 16.00. With Campbell going deep 73 times last season and owning the country’s fourth best scoring attack, the home derby should contain a lot of offensive power.
Donations can be made at Venmo to @CUBSBFundraising, or in cash at the stadium on the day of the event.
Fans can also sponsor a player for their chance to win prizes if their chosen batter wins the derby. Full information is below: