MOOSIC, PA — Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders outfielder Mason Williams teamed up with his friend Mark DeVoe to raise proceeds and awareness for the Choroideremia Research Foundation.
Williams designed a limited edition shirt in support of his friend to remind others to be true to yourself.
“At the end of the day we only have one person to be, I mean be yourself everyday, and I tell Mark everyday, at the end of the day, you still have to love yourself,” Williams said.
DeVoe,12, was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Choroideremia at the age of six. It will cause him to eventually go completely blind as early as his thirties. There is no known cure.
“I don’t lose hope, I’m always happy and not afraid,” Mark said.
“We never tell Mark he has a disability, because he doesn’t, it’s a challenge and challenges are meant to be overcome and that’s where this comes,” Mark’s mother Susan DeVoe said. “Just keep going.”
Avid Yankees fans, the DeVoe’s regularly travel from their home in New Jersey to watch RailRiders’ games. That’s where they first met Mason, and through that friendship, were able to make this project happen.
“People have been told that there’s nothing going on, there’s nothing that they can do for you, that you’re going to go blind so just go home and prepare for a life of darkness and it’s not true,” Mark’s dad Mark DeVoe said. “So our goal with this company is to get the awareness out to as many people as possible. Through Mason and other major league players we’ve been able to do that.”
Williams said DeVoe is an inspiration because despite his vision loss, he still continues to play and watch the sport he loves.
“It pushes me and it pushes a lot of us in the club house to just be ourselves everyday, because you never know what could happen,” Williams said.
The limited-edition t-shirt can be purchased from Athletes Brand until Monday, August 7.