Young Cancer Survivor Defies The Odds On And Off The Baseball Field
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By Diana Rocco
HARLEYSVILLE, Pa., (CBS) – A young cancer survivor who defied the odds on and off the baseball field is now giving back.
“I want to be the first one legged major league pitcher,” says 11-year-old Peter Zucca, of Telford.
His dreams are as big as the obstacles he’s overcome.
“I’m really positive even though I have one leg and I really like playing baseball and being with my friends,” he says.
Cheered on by teammates and rounding bases, Peter hits pitches and even runs 5Ks. It was just last year Peter lost his right leg above the knee to cancer.
“When Peter was diagnosed we were told that he would never survive. So he’s 11 and he was 10-months-old then. Every day is just like a total blessing and a gift,” says his mother, Dawn Zucca.
Now in remission for the second time, Peter wrote an essay about his life and entered it in Major League Baseball’s Breaking Barriers contest. Wednesday he will be honored on the field at Citizens Bank Park before the Phillies game in front of all his fourth grade classmates.
“Peter is joyful and determined and inspirational. And he always has been,” says his mother.
With the help of his parents he’s now starting a foundation for other children with cancer called the Peter Powerhouse Foundation. He’s been adjusting to his new prosthetic and says his biggest challenges are still running and walking. But when he gets down:
“Just to stay positive about it,” he says.
Something he’s no doubt learned from his parents.
“We have faith that even when the journey doesn’t go good that someone’s in it with us,” says his mother. “Live well in every season so that you can look back without any regrets.”
In his essay, Peter says he got his courage and persistence from his parents and a community that has supported him from the very beginning. He also plans to run five 5Ks in the next year.