Adams County community rallies for “Team Balek”

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This isn't your ordinary football game at Bermudian Springs High School in Adams County. It's a special one for these parents.

It's a been a whirlwind for the Balek's for the past two months, when they noticed something was wrong with their 7-year-old son, Tyson.

"We noticed he was just being a little dopier, just wasn't quite as progressed as some of the other kids," said John Balek, Tyson's father.

Other family members noticed too. So they took Tyson to the doctor and then a specialist. In August 28th, after extensive testing, Tyson was diagnosed with MLD. A form of Leukodystrophy, a rare non-curable brain disease. He suffers from slow speech, can't write and has even lost some feeling on the left side of his body. As a result, Tyson can no longer play flag football or any other sport.

"That's our motto right now is strength," added John Balek. Tyson's dad is a football coach at the high school.

"So I incorporated that with the kids, when they're down and they think they can't score or they can't do what they can do. They need to think of my forehead and Tyson and think of strength and find that and help them through whatever they need to get through," he added.

And there's hope. The Baleks will be traveling to Italy next week to undergo gene therapy testing. Here at home, the community has rallied for the family. The support has been unwavering. Through fundraising, they've sold more than 800 shirts to show support for "Team Balek."

"Amazing. We can't thank everybody enough," said Vaneesa Balek, Tyson's mother.

While it may be a long road, as Tyson will undergo four months of aggressive gene therapy in Italy early next year. It's not slowing him down.

"He's always been active, running. He still is active," said John Balek.

During the final moments of the flag football game, Tyson proved just that. The cheers got louder as Tyson scored a touchdown.

The Bermudian Springs Youth Athletic Association has already raised over $16,000 for the Balek family. If you would like to learn more, click on the following link