Brookfield, Ill. Little National League Coach Inspires Little Leaguer® On Road To Brain Injury Recovery

Become a little league® volunteering means more than just signing up to go to the field on game day and coach a group of kids. It’s about helping teach life lessons and building stronger individuals and communities through baseball and softball, and for David Campbell, it’s also become a way to help a Petite player. League.® battle through a life-threatening experience.

A volunteer coach for the National Little League of Brookfield, Illinois, Mr. Campbell has always been committed to providing a memorable Little League experience for children in his community. Eight years ago, he introduced his neighbor, Maxx Kusper, to the league.

“Coach Campbell has been the coach of Maxx since he joined the league at the age of five and has always been a constant in our lives,” said Marcey Kusper, Maxx’s mother. “Little League does that to you – it brings you together as teammates and parents, but inevitably those people become family. “

On March 28, 2020, this Little League family was struck by tragedy as 11-year-old Maxx was hit by a train just around the corner from his house, suffering from broken bones and a traumatic brain injury. After a vital craniotomy to relieve swelling in his brain three days after the accident, the Kusper family knew that Maxx’s road to recovery was only just beginning and that the first person to stand up to help him was the Coach Campbell.

“Due to the coronavirus pandemic, quarantine requirements prevented our family from getting the support and hugs we desperately needed, but Coach Campbell and our Little League family made sure our family feel love and support in all other ways, ”Ms. Kusper said. . “They were able to organize the community and cover the town with Cubby Blue (Maxx’s favorite color), print signs with Maxx’s photo and number 23 all over town, set up a police escort to greet him. again, and have even gone so far as to have the whole team and coaches shaving their heads to show their support for Maxx.

Knowing that the Little League pitch was a source of peace and normalcy for the Kusper family, Coach Campbell also made sure to leave the lights on on the pitch each night, where Maxx’s dad Don is. stopped each evening to take the time to pray. for Maxx and have a quiet time alone.

After a second brain surgery on June 4, 2020, to replace the right part of the skull that was removed, Maxx began his physical therapy, but it was on the Little League pitch alongside Coach Campbell and his teammates. that it seemed to heal the best. .
“Being on the Little League pitch is where her body continued to heal, but more importantly, it’s where her spirit healed,” Ms. Kusper said. “During his therapy, Coach Campbell told us there would always be a place on his team for Maxx and made sure to focus more on his recovery than on winning any game. It meant the world to us, and we can never pay it back for it.

True to his word, Coach Campbell selected Maxx to be part of his squad for his final Little League season at age 12 in 2021, where he hit his first home run on the big court and even earned a spot. on the all-featured team.

“True to life in Little League, our baseball family was there together for their last game on the fields where friends became family and the kids learned lifelong lessons that will help them grow into adults,” he said. Ms. Kusper said. “With the final game over, I was able to hold back my tears until I saw Coach Campbell fight off his own tears as he hugged Maxx. Words didn’t need to be spoken because Coach Campbell was so much more than a coach. We will be eternally grateful to him for showing us this amazing life in Little League and we are all better people because of it. “


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