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San Francisco Giants player reaches out to young Aledo cancer patient

ALEDO -- It didn't take long for Joe Turner to complete the sentence.

Whenever he sees San Francisco Giants player Aubrey Huff wearing his "Going To Bat 4 Joe" bracelet, the youngster quickly says, "It's amazing."

Huff wears the orange bracelet in support of Joe, a 7-year-old who was diagnosed with a Wilms' tumor, a cancerous tumor on one of his kidneys, in April.

"I wear it on the same hand as he does now," Joe said with a smile. "It's been fun to get to know him through e-mails and letters."

Huff, who grew up in the Fort Worth area and graduated from White Settlement Brewer, reached out to Joe after learning about his condition. Joe underwent surgery on the tumor within days of it being discovered April 9, and he is undergoing chemotherapy and radiation at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth.

Huff sent a handwritten letter to Joe, as well as an autographed ball and hat. In the letter, Huff wrote: "Keep battling little man! Never give up and remember you're in our prayers here in San Francisco!!"

Huff then invited Joe and his family, who live in Aledo, to San Francisco for the upcoming Giants-Reds series Monday through Wednesday. Joe, along with his dad, Kevin; mom, Elizabeth; and brothers, Ben, 9, and Will, 4, will make the trip to the Bay Area. Kevin is a retired Navy pilot who will start working for Delta this fall, and his mom, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Zeller, played basketball at TCU from 1989-92.

"I'm real excited about the trip," Joe said. "And I think I get to play catch with him."

It'll be a nice vacation for Joe, who has three rounds of chemotherapy left. He will undergo treatments, 21 days apart, in August, September and October.

"Chemotherapy is hard," Joe said. "I hate it. I might throw up when it gets real bad."

Added his dad, Kevin: "He's still doing chemo and it's going fairly well. Hopefully through October and that's it. He's only had a few tests, and his initial screening is good. He's not 100 percent, but he's doing well. He'll be fine.

"We're just excited someone like Aubrey Huff has done this for Joe, and formed a relationship with him. It gives him something to look forward to."

And, in the fall, Joe should be able to rejoin his youth-league team and play in the majority of the games. Similar to Huff, Joe likes playing first base. And his brother Ben now wears No. 17, just like Huff.

"I'm real excited to play again," Joe said. "Can't wait."

Just like his upcoming trip, courtesy of Huff.

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