The team that Katie is currently on has experienced their challenges throughout the season, but were able to scrap through tournament after tournament and finally earn a birth to the PGF National Championships held in Huntington Beach, CA, a goal Katie has been waiting to achieve since she could remember. When her team qualified for the National Championships, Katie was ecstatic.
However, Katies dreams were quickly dashed upon the news that her dad, a career military man, received orders to report oversees. As a Marine, I have spent months away from home at a time and missed out on watching her play softball. However, I knew that it was softball and the friends Katie's made through softball that have helped her maintain some normalcy and helped put myself at ease knowing that Katie was building a life and long lasting friendships while I was able to smile and look at pictures of her happiness playing softball during my long deployments.
As Katie will be traveling to a country that does not have a softball program, or probably even heard of softball, sadly Katies softball career will be cut short in her prime and have to hang up her cleats for the next three years. As a great kid and athlete, I can see that she is lying to me when she says she will be fine without softball so she can be with her family, but I can see that she will dearly miss the long weekends, dirt all over her clothes, and most importantly, the chance to compete amongst the best teams across the nation at the National Championships.
As a father, I could not, would not let that happen. After a ton of calls, hours of planning and a lot of lobbying, I was able to arrange for Katie to fly at a later date to join us overseas. However, since the travel is so far and dangerous for a young teenager, I had to arrange to pay for a family member to escort Katie to her overseas destination. So today's gofundme is setup to help offset the expensive cost of paying for her escort so that Katie can enjoy one last hoorah and help her team compete at the National Championships, which is something she's dreamed of competing in over the last 8 years.