An 11-year-old girl from Muskeg Cree Nation threw the ceremonial first pitch before the Toronto Blue Jays took the field against the Tampa Bay Rays Tuesday night.
“I’m very excited, all of my cousins are excited,” Bella Arcand-Lafond said before the game at Rogers Centre in Toronto.
Arcand-Lafond was forced to give up T-ball, one of her passions, in order to receive a major operation. She lives with a rare brain disease, which at one point caused her to have as many as 60 seizures a day.
Family members from as far away as Victoria were at the game, according to Bella’s mother Bev Lafond.
“We’re lucky, we had about 25 family members make the trek down here just to watch,” Lafond said.
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“It’s an exciting opportunity for us. Bella is quite excited, and she’s been practicing. I think she’s ready for tonight’s first pitch,” Lafond said ahead of time.
Lafond submitted her daughter’s name to a joint venture between Dairy Queen and the Children’s Miracle Network in May. Arcand-Lafond was selected to represent Saskatchewan in a final round of selections. In July, she was chosen from all of the candidates to throw out the first pitch.