By Trevor McClain
tmcclain@my.madonna.edu

This final year of college baseball at Madonna University, senior Spencer Sarel is playing for more than just his team. Sarel has been playing for his cousin Cody Meiers, who passed away from cancer at the age of 16.

“Unfortunately, Cody and I had a long-distance relationship because my family and I moved from Florida to Michigan when I was 7,” said Sarel. “Every time we were together for vacations or holidays we picked up like we were never apart. He was the brother that I never had.”

While Cody was going through his chemotherapy treatments, Sarel and his family found multiple ways to honor him.

“Last year during Jake’s (Cody’s brother) junior year, his entire baseball team, coaches included - at Florida Atlantic University - shaved their heads in support of Cody’s situation,” said Johnny Meiers, Cody’s father (at left with Lore and Sarel).

Sarel found a way to honor him as well, before departing on the team’s spring break trip to Florida, he asked his teammates and head coach Greg Haeger if they would be willing to honor him at a game that his aunt and uncle were coming to.

Haeger didn’t hesitate to say yes.

“It meant the world to me,” said Sarel. “My entire team and coaches were in full support of the dedication. It backed up all the hard work and dedication I put into this season for Cody.”

During a doubleheader, in Lakeland, Fla., players wore the initials “CM” on their sleeve in remembrance of Cody.

“It was a great thing to do,” said Haeger. “I knew what it meant to Spencer and the entire team was 100 percent behind the idea.”

Following the game, each member of the MU baseball team lined up while exiting the field to give a hug and a few words of condolences to Cody’s parents, John and Lore.

“My uncle told me what an amazing thing, that not only the dedication of the games and Cody’s initials on our shirts but the condolences following were the icing on the cake,” said Sarel. “That really meant the world to both my aunt and uncle, and it showed what kind of class my teammates have.”

Cody was a classy and uplifting kind of guy, even at the young age of 16.

“Cody was one of the most positive forces I have ever been around,” said Meiers. “His smile was electric, especially when he knew that his time on this earth was numbered. He always had a smile and a good word for everyone.”

Following Cody’s passing, his family realized how many lives Cody had touched.

“At his viewing, they’re an estimated 800 people,” said Meiers. “The entire Florida Atlantic baseball team was there, my entire Broward Sheriffs Motorcycle unit also attended, and rode their Harley-Davidsons in the funeral procession the following day.”

Since being diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a bone cancer that commonly attacks young male adolescents and often goes undiagnosed, Cody’s family has started a charity called Cody’s Angels. Cody’s family is working to raise money to help find a cure for Ewing’s sarcoma.

If you would like to donate to Cody’s Angles or to learn more about the life of Cody Meiers, visit codysangels.com

 

Sports

Baseball honors player’s cousin