The Newburgh Nuclears’ junior American Legion team, with players from Newburgh, Cornwall, Marlboro, ended its season last month when it bowed out of the District 9 playoffs too early.
But members of that team gathered again last week to help a teammate, Ryan Danyluk.
Danyluk’s spring went as planned when he pitched for Newburgh Free Academy’s varsity baseball team as a junior, and this summer he pitched well for the junior Nuclears.
But before July came to an end, Danyluk’s life went entirely in a different direction when he was diagnosed with Stage IV lymphoma. And that diagnosis was soon followed by rounds of chemotherapy.
“I noticed three weeks ago on Tuesday when I was helping at an NFA baseball camp,” said Danyluk, last week.
The next day, Danyluk was admitted to the hospital and began his fight against cancer.
And that prompted the Nuclears to step up to the plate with a fundraiser with bracelets to be sold through players and coaches as they honor and support Danyluk with his current fight against cancer.
Scott Seabury, Newburgh’s varsity baseball coach and the senior Nuclears assistant coach, also set up an online fundraiser. Cornwall’s Dalton Weis is also helping to distribute bracelets, and one can be obtained by contacting him at email@example.com.
“The Nukes take kids from three different schools. One of our biggest issues, year in and year out is breaking down those town boundaries and playing together as a team,” said Shea Ceriello, the Nuclears’ general manager. “Ryan was the perfect catalyst. All of the kids were drawn to him and bonded very quickly. This kid was melting down all the barriers and bringing this year’s team together. And he did it very quickly. He is loved by all the players and coaches.”
As the junior Nuclears tried – but failed to win a District 9 title, Danyluk was undergoing chemotherapy against a very tough opponent.
“My summer with the Nukes was very fun and enjoyable. We won a lot,” said Danyluk. “Unfortunately I was in the hospital during the playoffs, and we were eliminated. But it was great playing with all the guys and the team.”
And as Danyluk was responding to questions about his life now, he was upbeat and thankful to those rallying for his survival.
“I am feeling good,” he said, “and very grateful for all the support from family and friends.”
By Bond Brungard