LUBBOCK, Texas – Alström Angels hosted their 5th Annual BEEPball tournament at the Lubbock Youth Sports Complex on Saturday.
Cassie Johnston, cofounder and executive director of Alström Angels said the event is meant to bring awareness to people with Alström as well as people who are visually impaired.
“Bring awareness for alstrom syndrome, our core mission, but also to raise awareness for other people in the communtiy. Kids, adults who are blind and vision impaired and Alstrom syndrome, blindness is a big part of that,” Johnston said.
Johnston’s daughter was diagnosed with Alström when she was three. She said some of the effects of the disease include congestive heart failure, diabetes, blindness, deafness and kidney and liver failure.
“She’s pretty much the star of the show and knows it and she loves to be out in front of people she loves to meet people and tell them about Alstrom and Alstrom Angels she’s really become quite the advocate for herself,” Johnston said.
Maria Martinez has played in the tournament all five years.
“It’s become tradition for us like how they have it it’s a tradition for us like my kids have been playing for five years,” Martinez said.
Robbie Bowling plays with the Amarillo Assassins. He said he likes playing because it stands for a good cause.
“A friend of ours, her brother he’s actually legally blind and he was bron that way and he’s the one that got this team going.”
Both Martinez and Bowling agree the game is very challenging but also fun.
“Not being able to see the ball especially when you’re batting, even trying to field you definitely have to use your hearing and it can be dangerous at times,” Martinez said.
Johnston estimates about 200 people signed up to play in the tournament.
The tournament began at 8:30 a.m. lasted until 8:30 p.m.