For Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Craig Breslow, his career in the Majors has been a wild one. In his 6 years as a pro, he has dawned five different uniforms; while winning a World Series with the Red Sox in 2007. He has learned many life lessons throughout his journey so far but the most important lesson came far before his days as a Major League pitcher. When Breslow was 11, his older sister was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer. She ended up surviving and lives a strong, healthy life to this day, but the effects it would have on Craig Breslow would turn into the inspiration for his charity work in the future.
In 2008, Breslow helped start the Strike 3 Foundation in hopes to raise awareness, funding and care for pediatric cancer research. Through multiple fund raising events and appearances to children’s hospitals, Strike 3 Foundation has raised over $600,000 in its three years of operation. Breslow and the Strike 3 Foundation’s latest act was a grant for $25,000 to Children’s Hospital and Research Center Oakland.
Although making appearances and visiting sick children who are fighting the brave fight against cancer is a common deed, it was a visit to a 9-year-old boy that would be one of the most significant and inspiring for Breslow. Isaac Valentin was an energetic and enthusiastic young baseball fan that was sadly in the fight for his young life. He and Craig had formed a bond that would remain strong for the remainder of his short life, as Isaac passed away in November of 2009 at the age of 9. In honor of Isaac’s strength and courage the Isaac Valentin Award was created to award an individual who has shown strength and courage while being a pillar of hope during their hard times.
For many young aspiring baseball players, the goal of making it to the big leagues is a dream not everyone has a chance to envision. For Craig Breslow, that dream has been a windy road as his life mission didn’t start until 2008 when his foundation came into play. He takes much pride in his work and has used his own experiences to help change the lives of so many young children and families for the better. He continues to make numerous appearances and speaks to children as he hopes to encourage them to make the right and positive decisions in life while explaining how much of a positive impact attending a Catholic school can have on them. He is dedicated to his mission and spends at least an hour a day working on his program by answering phone calls, checking emails, researching and planning events.
Not every professional athlete that has had a career similar to Craig Breslow can discuss how proud they are of their work and success. For Craig, giving back to cancer patients and working to better research is the least he can do. His hard work off the field runs for 12-months out of the year and never negatively affects the New Haven, Connecticut native. Not only is Craig Breslow a relief pitcher, but he is a relief of hope and good fortune for the little ones who dream the most.
To learn more about the Strike 3 Foundation, visit http://www.strike3foundation.org/