Little Cohen Desiderio of Princeton got a surprise visit from Chicago White Sox players Lucas Giolito and Zack Collins recently during his stay at the Comer Children’s Hospital at the University of Chicago.
Cohen, however, as most 5-year-olds would, was far more interested in the White Sox mascot, South Paw.
“He was more excited to see South Paw,” his mom, Abby Taylor, said. “However, my dad (Bret) is a huge White Sox fan and was pretty jealous of our encounter. He may have been a little disappointed in me for not realizing I had just met their best pitcher. Oops!”
Cohen, who attends kindergarten at Lighted Way in LaSalle, was diagnosed in utero with hydrocephalus, a brain condition that causes an excess buildup of cerebral spinal fluid. He has a shunt that redirects the fluid from his brain to his abdomen where the body reabsorbs it.
He had his first brain surgery when he was just two weeks old and his last on Sept. 6.
“We spent nearly two months in the hospital this summer dealing with complications from his hydrocephalus where he endured four brain surgeries, bringing his total to eight,” Taylor said.
Taylor said her son also has cerebral palsy, Rhombencephalosynapsis and Chiari (both brain-stem malformations).
“His prenatal prognosis was grim, and we were told he would never walk or talk, but he’s doing both in his own time,” Taylor said.
Cohen has been out of the hospital for a month and he’s about to finish his third week back to school, Taylor said, as they continue to adapt on a daily basis.
“We will continue to support him with adaptive equipment and technology and various therapies,” she said.
Taylor was much appreciative that the White Sox players came to visit Cohen.
“I thought it was incredibly thoughtful for them to take the time to visit the kids,” she said. “The players were very kind, super attentive and took time with each of the kids and myself as well. And they had no hard feelings that Cohen didn’t care about them.”
You may watch the White Sox visit with Cohen at the hospital at https://www.mlb.com/video/white-sox-visit-children-s-hospital.
• Remembering “Mr. Sports”: I was deeply saddened to hear the passing of Chuck Lovgren of LaMoille. He was one of the first people I met in Bureau County and we quickly gained a friendship for our mutual love of sports. I didn’t even know his name for a while and just referred to him as “Mr. LaMoille Sports.”
Chuck, who recently coached LHS baseball as well as many youth sports, was just an overall grand guy and will be greatly missed. One can take comfort he is reunited with his wife, Catherine, who was tragically killed in 2008.
Kevin Hieronymus is the BCR Sports Editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.