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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 12, 2017

Man with cerebral palsy takes entire team to Iowa Cubs game

Jul 20, 2017
Photo by: GTNS photo Cody Harris, of Batavia, took his fellow Tenco Challenger softball teammates to an Iowa Cubs game. Above, Harris smiles while wearing a cubs shirt.

By Nicole Major, Golden Triangle News Service

 

BATAVIA — Cody Harris had a dream; a dream of being able to share an experience with his fellow Tenco Challenger softball teammates.

“He wanted to take his whole Challenger team to an Iowa Cubs baseball game in Des Moines,” one of Harris’s home health aids, Karen Humble said of him. “That’s the kind of heart this kid has.”

Harris, a Batavia resident who is an outgoing 30-year-old, has spastic cerebral palsy. He is also mute and wheelchair bound. Yet he found a way to make his dream of sharing a Cub’s game with his a reality.

In fact, through Harris’s hard work and determination, he raised enough funds for his teammates to not only attend a game, but he also arranged for their transportation to and from the game, and a way for all of his teammates to have a buffet dinner on him.

“They are also going to get to sit inside the Sky box!” Humble said, adding that they would enjoy the buffet meal there as well.

Harris, who has been to an Iowa Cub’s game before, began thinking in April of a way to facilitate a group trip.

“His brother’s [Shaefer] fiance, Kerrie, came up with the idea for him to raise the money for the trip through donations,” Humble said.

Although both of his parents, Batavia residents Brenda and Doug Parcell, are very supportive financially and otherwise, Harris let everyone know that he wanted to raise the money by himself.

With the help of Humble, Harris set out on his mission to raise the funds.

He received donations from businesses, such as the First National Bank of Fairfield, Devico Trucking in Batavia and Lindburg Chiropractic in Fairfield.

“Devico trucking in Batavia gave him $200,” Harris relayed to Humble during the interview using sign language.

It wasn’t long before he had raised enough money for all of his teammates, a couple of his friends who aren’t on the team, and some of his team’s caregivers to go.

Harris even orchestrated a deal with Ottumwa Cab for a van, which will likely leave from Fairfield for the game in early August.

“A lady that I take care of wanted to give him $100 toward gas for the cab,” Humble said.

Harris said that she and two other caregivers from Ottumwa Regional Medical Center helped Harris organize the funding campaign and get to potential donors.

Harris’s regular aid, Robert Wallace, has been sick, and was unable to be reached by press time.

“But he will be able to attend the game with Cody!” Humble said.

Although Harris cannot speak, and is confined to a wheelchair, Humble said she’s not surprised that he was able to accomplish his goal.

“He’s amazing ... he’s a website designer. He graduated from [Fairfield High School} and he took about a year of web design classes at Indian Hills Community College. He learned how to use his knee for a mouse! He goes to Camp Courageous and he ziplined one year. He and [Robert] did 25 miles on a bicycle for two at Ragbrai three years ago. He swims, plays ball and he bowlers.”

In addition to his building websites from time-to-time, Harris also sells essential oils online.

“He doesn’t let his disability hold him back,” Humble said. “Everywhere he goes, everyone knows him.”

Harris smiled widely.

“His nickname is ‘trouble’ because of that smile,” Humble said.

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