WNCC softball steps to plate to help coach’s nephew battling rare disease

SCOTTSBLUFF, NE — A college softball team in western Nebraska is rallying together to help their head coach's nephew. 

The Western Nebraska Community College (WNCC) softball team is using a double-header Saturday to raise money for three-year-old Cooper. He is battling a rare disease known as Rosai-Dorfman, according to social media posts from the team.. As a result, he is undergoing daily chemotherapy for two years.

Cooper is WNCC softball head coach Katelyn Groves' nephew. The team is organizing a way to help with medical expenses. 

"We have helped many different causes and people over the years and this one, it hits really close to home," Groves wrote in a statement.

Saturday, the team will charge $1 for admission and accept any donations. The shirts the team wears during the game will be auctioned away on the team's Facebook page. There will also be a small raffle drawing. 

A GoFundMe has been set up by a parent of a player to collect donations.

Proceeds will be donated directly to Cooper's family to assist with medical bills and other expenses. 

According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), Rosai-Dorfman disease is characterized by the overproduction of a type of white blood cell. Symptoms vary greatly depending on what bodily systems are affected. It predominately affects children and young adults. The exact cause is unknown. 

The contest against North Platte Community College starts at 2:00 p.m. at Volunteer Field in Scottsbluff.