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West Michigan boy beating the odds to play in Miracle League

Posted at 10:56 PM, Jun 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-14 17:17:40-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- He can't eat, speak or see, but 3-year-old Ethan DeHoek can still smile.

Ethan has faced an uphill battle since birth.  Born 3 months premature, he suffered an infection that destroyed his bowel.  His liver disease caused jaundice, and doctors say all his organs will eventually shut down.

"We knew pretty quickly that he was not going to live a normal life, and that our lives would change dramatically," said Ethan's dad Brian DeHoek.

The DeHoeks are still trying to give Ethan the best life possible, with a lot of family time outside and trips to Disney.   On Saturday, he'll get to do something they'd only dreamed of.

Ethan will be playing ball with the West Michigan Miracle League on Saturday, with his older brother Parker as his buddy. The league is waiving their usual minimum age of five for Ethan so he can join them for the WMML's season finale.

"It's gonna be awesome to be able to give him that experience," said Brian.

The DeHoeks aren't sure how much time they have left with Ethan and want to make every moment count.

"We have no idea or how long we still have with Ethan. His health is deteriorating quickly," Brian told FOX 17 News. "When you hear that news, you immediately want to cherish every moment that you have with him, because it could literally change tomorrow."

Ethan is set to turn four in August, another milestone the family never expected to see happen.

"We kind of take every day as it comes," he continued. "We didn't think we'd have 1 year, now we're celebrating four...we're hoping that we'll get many more adventures this year."

If you'd like to cheer on Ethan, you can catch him playing with The Miracle League this Saturday at 10am.

The games are held at Nate Hurwitz Field (49321, 3300 10 Mile Rd NE, Rockford, MI), in the Art Van Sports Complex.