High school freshman organizes fundraiser for teammate

PAW PAW, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A Paw Paw high school student stepped up to the plate to help a member of her baseball team.

13-year-old David Cairns was diagnosed with a rare nerve disorder just a few months ago, forcing the young athlete to give up sports.

But a fundraiser, hosted by one of his teammates, may help David get back on the field someday.

A high school freshman, 15-year-old Maddy Walker, put the fundraiser together in just a few short weeks.

The event pulled in more than $3,200--enough money to help David with a tool that could help ease his pain.

"When this happened four months ago, I was just laying in bed crying, because I was so upset," Maddy said.

She says she knew she had to help.

"It's called reflex synthetic dystrophy, and it's a nerve disorder that causes severe, chronic pain, basically he'll be just sitting there, and scream in pain," Maddy explained.

Last year, David unexpectedly lost the ability to walk after bumping into a sign outside of church.

The pain was so bad the 7th grader at Paw Paw Middle School was forced to give up his love of basketball and baseball.

He was even pulled out of school and into physical therapy.

So Maddy organized an ice fishing tournament in David's name.

It brought out more than 30 participants and 100 spectators from Van Buren County this past weekend, packing Mike's North 40 in honor of the young athlete, and pulling enough money and then some for a much needed tool--a treadmill.

"We're hoping to get him as close as we can to where he used to be, and we're hoping playing baseball and back to school," Maddy said.

Although there's still a long road ahead, Maddy's hoping that David's steps will grow stronger while training at home, and hoping that the gift will help her and her teammates someday will get their friend running back on the baseball field with them.

"I think this whole thing has changed him, and it's changed me," she said.

As soon as the weather clears, David's new treadmill will be delivered.

Donations are continuing to come in.

Anyone interested can contribute at any PNC Bank under the name David Cairns.