The Reno Aces hosted their fifth Saint Mary's "Home Run for Life" ceremony of 2019, featuring Mackenzie and Parker Hodges, on Friday, August 2 when the Aces took on the Omaha Storm Chasers at 7:05 p.m. at Greater Nevada Field.
Since 2014, the Aces and Saint Mary's have been partnered to showcase the "Home Run for Life" program. Once a month, a brave individual in the Northern Nevada community is honored by taking a ceremonial trip around the bases with each team lining the baselines. The ceremony symbolizes the end of a battle against adversity. Individuals honored had overcome a significant medical event in their life with the help of Saint Mary's personnel.
Having Type 1 diabetes, Mackenzie was having as normal of pregnancy as one could. Everything was going well until she started developing high blood pressure. After spending 5 days at Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center, she ended up having an emergency C-section. Mackenzie delivered her baby boy, named Parker, 8 ½ weeks early, weighing only 4 lbs. 4 oz.
Parker was sent straight to the Neonatal intensive care unit. Since he was born too early, his lungs were not fully developed and he was having trouble eating and breathing. He was put on a ventilator, placed in an isolate, to keep him warm and free of germs, and a GI Tube was placed to feed and nourish him. Even though he was smaller, Parker was a fighter. Day by day, he started to get stronger and his lungs started to mature. Finally, after 8 weeks of love and attention in the NICU, Parker was able to go home with his family and continues to grow and develop.
Parker and Mackenzie rounded the bases commemorating their "Home Run for Life" in the middle of the second inning Friday night. The Reno Aces and Omaha players and staff lined up along each baseline to greet them as they made their way toward home plate while their story of adversity and triumph was publicly announced to the stadium crowd.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.