"Back in the Swing"
Jill Griffin of
was a force to be reckoned with. With a
12-4 record in 2000, this young, talented softball player was on top of her
game. However, Jill wasn’t on the pitcher’s mound for her 2001 and 2002 seasons.
She was homebound. Her life a blur of headaches, pain, dizziness, nausea,
crushing fatigue and dozens of trips to doctors who could not explain her
illness. Then in spring 2001, Jill was diagnosed with chronic fatigue and immune
dysfunction syndrome (
Her goals? Getting back in school. Going to her senior prom.
Graduating on time. All events that most high school kids take for granted. With
at home tutoring, she was eventually able to return to school part-time, attend
her senior prom and graduate. “I was determined not to let this beat me,” she
said. There were some days when I wasn’t feeling well, but overall, I wanted to
get through this. No questions asked, I was going to get through this.”
Jill’s strong belief in herself not only enabled her to reach
her aforementioned goals but it also brought her back to the ballpark and the
game she so terribly missed, softball. In May 2003,
took the mound once again,
pitching four strong innings. Her first strike in the fourth inning cleared the
bench. Her teammates presented her with balloons, the crowd gave her a standing
As for batting that day, “I got all nervous when my turn was
said. Walking up
there [to the plate] for me was kind of a miracle because at times I couldn’t
even walk, so that walk into the batters box was such a big deal.” She drew a
walk “I can’t exactly run to first, so I walked as fast as I could,” she added.
“I couldn’t stop smiling because I hadn’t been on base since 2000. It was an
overwhelming feeling. They put in a pinch runner for me, but when I got back on
the bench, I smiled the rest of the game.”
But she didn’t stop there. Inspired by the Tom Hanks film
“Philadelphia,” she would hold a
fundraiser to raise money for and awareness of
CFIDS. She organized a benefit softball game:
her team –vs- the St. Rose baseball team. The event was a success, raising over
$3,000.00 for The CFIDS Association of America.
Jill hopes to “help researchers come one step closer to finding a cure to help
me and [help] other people with CFIDS have a
chance at a normal life.” She also believes that “though my fundraiser I have
opened many peoples eyes to the seriousness of
Jill is currently will be taking a few courses at her local community college – she
to be strong enough to head to a four-year college in 2004.
Good luck & thanks Jill!