Traumatic brain injury survivor gets help from ‘Homers for Hope’

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (WPVI) – For big-hearted local baseball fans, the playing field was simple: help pay the bills for families in need.

“About 11 years ago a really good guy we used to play baseball with died in a really incongruous accident. He was about 30 years old,” said John Durso, co-founder of Homers for Hope. “So we did a home run derby to help his wife pay some bills.”

It started with a few friends raising a few hundred dollars. After a few years, they started swinging for the fences. From home run derbies to competitive teams, the organization has found ways to raise approximately $325,000 to help 30 families.

“So all in all, there are probably 100 to 150 volunteers who are raising money to participate in our program,” Durso said. “So we just did it in our free time. We found a way to combine our love of baseball and softball with philanthropy.”

One of the recipients was the Thorpe family, whose life changed in June 2021 after a family celebration. When Renee Thorpe was helping her aunt and mother out of the car, she was thrown to the ground and suffered traumatic brain injury.

“That baseball sound reminds me of it every day,” she said. “But then I have to learn everything again. And now I’m legally blind.”

Thorpe, who worked with special needs students, became unable to drive or work at all. Between doctor visits and therapy, her family’s financial burden became a heavy burden.

“Homers for Hope helped us and gave us a check for just over $10,000, which paid for the school district overpayment and my school district insurance,” Thorpe said. “I wouldn’t have any way of paying them. I am grateful to them that they did it.”

Anyone interested in learning more about upcoming fundraisers or volunteer opportunities at Homers for Hope can visit their website.

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