SEATTLE — The Seattle Mariners are kicking off the highly anticipated 2023 season by granting a special wish.
When fans pack T-Mobile Park for the home opener on Thursday night, a 6-year-old will run the bases and fire up the ballpark. Coleman Tawresey only wished for a new bat, but his parents knew they could encourage him to dream bigger.
Just after his second birthday, Coleman was diagnosed with bilateral retinoblastoma, a rare eye cancer that can lead to the removal of the eyes. His parents first noticed the issue in family photos where white flashes in his right eye became noticeable. Flash photography happens to be an early diagnosis tool for Retinoblastoma. Fortunately, doctors discovered the tumors before it was considered “too late” and a rigorous treatment journey to save his eyes began.
Coleman faces three types of chemotherapy, laser therapy, cryotherapy, and radiation treatment over the course of three years.
“We were sorta just in and out of the hospital living in limbo” said his mother, Laurel.
Coleman is currently in remission for the third time and is anxiously preparing for his debut on opening night.
Coleman said he wants to be a designated hitter one day and can’t wait to show off his speed in front of more than 47,000 fans.
His father, Steve, played baseball for Bainbridge High School and said Coleman started becoming a fan years ago and was hooked after last season.
“It’s pretty special to see him fall in love with baseball and the players,” Steve said.
Make-a-Wish of Alaska & Washington teamed up with the Mariners to give Coleman an unforgettable experience that started in Spring Training. Coleman met with Mariners coach Scott Servais introduced to the team. He played catch with Ty France and took battling practice with Julio Rodriguez.
Kathryn Mueller with Make-A-Wish said the Mariners pulled out all the stops to make this wish memorable.
“We can’t thank the Mariners enough for sharing the love in such a big way” Mueller said.
Coleman will take to the field to run the bases on Thursday as the Mariners open the 2023 season by hosting the Cleveland Guardians at 7:10 p.m.