By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY
The San Bernardino Mountains Little League will be donating the proceeds from their collection jars positioned at their snack bars this season to Andrew Clark (12), who played second base and outfield on Ken Busby’s team last season, announced Erick Mills, the league’s president.
Andrew was diagnosed late last month with a brain tumor behind his eye on a Friday and had brain surgery the following Tuesday at Loma Linda University Medical Center to remove the tumor. He is now recovering in the intensive care unit (ICU). He will be in the ICU for three to four weeks and then is expected to spend another two to three weeks in the hospital, before he may be allowed to return home.
The good news is his vision seems to be fine and he is recovering, albeit slowly – especially slow for a previously active, precocious, 12-year-old boy. Mountains Little League will have a donation bucket at every snack bar at every game, this season for Andrew, said League Vice President Kenneth Busby. “Little League is all about the kids.”
Andrew had been having severe headaches recently, especially since school began, so his mother took him to the emergency room. After extensive testing, the tumor was discovered behind his eye. The tumor was putting pressure on his eye, making focusing difficult and the pressure from the growing tumor was causing his headaches.
“It now makes more sense why last season Andrew was having difficulty catching balls and why at times he got hit by the ones thrown to him,” said Coach Busby. “However, he was always the team’s cheerleader with a smile on his face, with an excellent attitude, even when I had him sitting on the bench.”
Andrew has lived in the mountains for the past four years, one-third of his life. His mother, Amber Erickson Clark, who grew up on the mountain, is a Rim High School grad of the class of 1999. She is driving down the mountain daily to be with Andrew, but her car will need some more repairs before the snow falls.
Andrew has an older sister, Alexandria (17), and two younger siblings, Christopher (8) and Elizabeth (5). His siblings are trying to maintain their lives and be normal kids, including trying to focus and learn in school in the Rim district, while Andrew is in the ICU at Loma Linda.
What adds to the sorrow of this situation is that their father died unexpectedly in Alaska just over a year ago, so Amber is a single parent with four children and now, with Andrew in the hospital, is struggling to keep it all together.
Busby is putting together a GoFundMe page to help Amber, Andrew and the family. The Mountains Little League hopes the amount they can raise will assist Amber and help her and the family manage during this difficult time. In addition, all of Andrew’s friends and everyone that knows him is wishing and praying that Andrew has a complete recovery from his brain surgery.
If you wish to make a donation to Andrew, send it to Mountains Little League, P.O. Box 3854, Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352, with “Donation to Andrew Clark” on the memo line.