GOODYEAR, AZ (WOIO) - Pete Horner can no longer play the game he loves. But thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, he got something just about as good.
Pete, a 17-year-old who has the life-threatening heart condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, took the field with the Cleveland Indians in Goodyear, Arizona, during the latter part of spring training. It's a boyhood dream come true for almost any baseball fan, but Horner initially balked at the idea because he doesn't feel sorry for himself.
"I'm not on my way out," Pete said. "I'm not going to be stuck in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. I'm not going to be like that.
"But what I failed to realize is that in 10 years, five years even, I could be on a heart transplant list. I could be suffering from heart failure, getting ready to die any single day. It's just the way (the disease) progresses."
So Pete boarded a plane with his parents to Goodyear to join the Tribe. As soon as he hit the turf, he headed toward the outfield to shag fly balls.
He dined with the Tribe, chatted with manager Terry Francona and had quite a conversation with first baseman Mike Napoli. It was the trip of a lifetime for a teenager who is living each day to the fullest.
"You live too short to worry about your future," Pete said. "You should just worry about right now."
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