COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Eight-year-old Sam Rosa has dealt with a lot in recent months. In May, he was diagnosed with cancer and started chemotherapy in mid-July. The following month, his dad, Patrick Rosa, died from Leukemia which he battled since 2014.
“My dad coached me a lot in baseball,” Sam said. “He always played hockey, but then when I started to like baseball, he started to like it too. It just feels a lot different to not have him anymore.”
Patrick was remembered at Thursday's baseball game as the Braves took on the Phillies. Sam threw out the first pitch, and his younger brother, 6-year-old Will, also helped the game get started.
“I'm here with my friends, and I'm going to say ‘play ball,’” Will said shortly before the game. “It means a lot to me, and it's very cool.”
Sam and Will’s mom, Valerie, was nearby for all the action.
“We have all of our friends and family here to cheer on Samuel and William but also to cheer on Patrick and to cheer on his life,” Valerie said. “That's what Patrick was about, spending time with friends and family, quality time making memories. So we're here for that today.”
Patrick's former coworkers at Mercer helped coordinate Thursday’s events, and Valerie said it was a perfect tribute for her late husband.
“He was a big fan of baseball,” she said. “Our two kids love baseball. Patrick was a big athlete no matter what. We're from Canada, so obviously he was a hockey player, but when we moved down here about 15 years ago, baseball became a passion.
Just before throwing out the first pitch, Sam shared some good news with 11Alive.
“My visits to the hospital have been good,” he said. “Sometimes they're rough, but Monday I got my results, and I don't have any more cancer.”
Chick-fil-A also brought good news to the Rosa family, surprising the boys with free food for one year.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family moving forward. CLICK HERE for the details.
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