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Update: Lee's Daughter Has Rare Genetic Disease


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ESPN.com

 

Cubs' Lee likely out for season to tend to daughter

 

CHICAGO -- Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee could be out for the rest of the season because of his 3-year-old daughter's illness.

 

"You break your wrist and you think that's a big deal. Then something like this happens and it kind of slaps you in the face of what really matters."

 

-- Derrek Lee

Lee had missed the last two games before he said Sunday he was taking a leave of absence to be with his wife and child.

 

"My daughter's lost some vision in one eye and we'll find out more at a later time; we have to go through some more tests," Lee said in a statement. "Right now we just ask for everyone's prayers. We need a miracle, we need your prayers. We need everyone to believe she's going to be OK."

 

Jada is the only child for Lee and his wife, Christina. Lee fought back tears as he addressed the media and then spoke to the team in private in the clubhouse.

 

"Some of us have known for a few days," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "But you can't say anything if he didn't want to say anything. Quite frankly, I'm surprised he said anything."

 

Lee turned 31 this month and the 2005 NL batting champion has played just 49 games this season, hitting .287 with eight home runs and 30 RBI. He broke his left wrist April 19 and missed 58 games before returning to the team in late June. He went on the DL a second time in late July later with inflammation in the wrist and missed another month.

 

"You break your wrist and you think that's a big deal," Lee said. "Then something like this happens and it kind of slaps you in the face of what really matters."

 

The Cubs, in last place in the National League before Sunday's game, have dealt with a slew of injuries this season, many of them unusual and quite serious. In the last two weeks, catcher Michael Barrett has required surgery for bleeding in his scrotum after taking a foul ball in the groin, and pitcher Glendon Rusch is still hospitalized with a blood clot in his lung. Pitchers Mark Prior and Kerry Wood have missed most of the season with injuries.

 

"It's been a real tough year," Baker said. "Some strange things have happened this year, to say the least. Every time there's one thing you think is the most serious, there comes a more serious one."

 

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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  • 2 weeks later...

UPDATE:

 

Derrek Lee said Friday that his daughter has Leber's Congenital Amaurosis, a rare genetic disease that causes blindness in young children.

 

Lee has teamed with Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck, whose son is one of only about 3,000 people in the United States with the disease, to start a foundation with the intention of finding a cure. 3-year-old Jada Lee has lost vision in one eye because of the disease. "Jada is a little bit different in the respect that she still sees very well out of one eye. So it's kind of throwing them off a little bit," Lee said. "But you know we look at it as a positive. We just ask that everyone continue to pray for the miracle, that she continue to have good sight out of the one eye. We're still believing that can happen."

 

Really hope for the best for Jada.

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Here's the whole story. Poor little girl. I wish the best for the whole family.

 

Sporting News

 

Cubs' Lee to fight daughter's disease

September 29, 2006

 

Associated Press

 

 

CHICAGO -- The daughter of Chicago Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee has a rare genetic disease that causes blindness in young children, and he said Friday he has started a foundation with the owner of the Boston Celtics to find a cure.

 

Jada, who is 3 years old and Lee's only child, has lost vision in one eye. Lee, the 2005 NL batting champion, has spent the last two weeks researching Leber's Congenital Amaurosis. He has teamed with Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck, whose son is one of only about 3,000 people in the United States with the disease.

 

Lee has talked with doctors and visited scientists, researchers and labs.

 

"Jada is a little bit different in the respect that she still sees very well out of one eye. So it's kind of throwing them off a little bit," Lee said Friday.

 

"But you know we look at it as a positive. We just ask that everyone continue to pray for the miracle, that she continue to have good sight out of the one eye. We're still believing that can happen."

 

Lee said the goal of his foundation, called "Project 3000," is to have everyone with the disease tested because that will aid research. So far, he said, only about 500 of those diagnosed have undergone genetic testing.

 

Lee has not played since announcing Sept. 17 his daughter was ill.

 

"You know it's something that is devastating initially when you are told your daughter, there is something wrong with your child. It's hard to explain unless you have children. You will do anything to protect your children," he said.

 

"And when you are told there is something wrong and there is nothing you can do about it, it's a tough pill to swallow. As parents we just want to do our part and we feel our part is to raise awareness."

 

 

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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