Strong faith guides Gamecocks baseball coach Chad Holbrook

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NORTH AUGUSTA — Life occurrences work together as part of God’s plans.

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South Carolina baseball coach Chad Holbrook (center) speaks during the 25th annual Mayor's Prayer Luncheon at North Augusta Community Center on Wednesday.   JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
South Carolina baseball coach Chad Holbrook (center) speaks during the 25th annual Mayor's Prayer Luncheon at North Augusta Community Center on Wednesday.

It was the common theme as South Carolina baseball coach Chad Holbrook spoke Wednesday to those attending the 25th annual Mayor’s Prayer Luncheon at the North Augusta Community Center.

After quoting Jeremiah 29:11, Holbrook said “There’s nobody, no way, no how, anyone could have put together this plan other than the good Lord and Savior.”

In 2004, his oldest son Reece was diagnosed with leukemia.

Over the next 3½ years, Reece underwent treatment which also meant daily doctor visits and weekly tests.

One day, the family was at the hospital for Reece to have a test and Holbrook paced the hallway. As he did, a man handed him a stone with Joshua 1:9 inscribed on it.

For three years he rubbed that stone, Holbrook said, adding that it still sits beside his bed and continues to provide comfort.

“There’s no doubt that the good Lord placed that angel in front of me that day,” he said.

Reece has been off treatment for six years now, Holbrook said.

He then shared the story of Bayler Teal, a young Gamecock fan who faced cancer and the impact he had on members of the baseball team who had became his heroes.

He also taught the team how blessed it was, Holbrook said.

When Bayler took a turn for the worst during the 2010 season, the team decided to play the remainder of the games in honor of the young boy.

Bayler passed away before seeing the Gamecocks win the College World Series.

Their experiences encouraged the Holbrooks to create the Win Anyway Foundation in 2012 to help support other children and their families facing cancer and other terminal illnesses as well as facilities that provide treatment for the children.

North Augusta Mayor Lark Jones presented Hol­brook with a donation for the foundation following Holbrook’s speech.

For more information about the foundation, visit www.winanywayfoundation.org.


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