Holko family paying it forward - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Holko family paying it forward

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NILES, Ohio - An update on a little boy whose survival has been called a miracle after being hit in the head by a baseball.

Luke Holko played with his cousin at the Luke Holko Hit-A-Thon to raise money for Akron Children's Hospital Mahoning Valley.

In September 2009 Luke was hit with a line drive foul ball at a Mahoning Valley Scrappers game. Luke suffered a life threatening brain injury from the force of the ball.

Three years later Luke still has hearing problems in one ear and needs a brace for his leg. His mom Nicole says they watch for any signs of traumatic brain injury, but her son is making amazing progress. "He finished his second season in baseball and actually got second place for the farthest throw for this year and he's in first grade and keeping up with everybody," said Nicole Holko.

The fundraising event held at Eastwood Field features games for kids along with a Hit-A-Thon. Participants paid $10 for 10 pitches, plus there was a Chinese auction. "They have a lot of Chinese auction stuff that my wife likes to look at. Even if we don't win, we spend a ton of money and it goes towards a good cause," said Matt Borsa from Hermitage, Pennsylvania.

The Holkos say this fundraiser is one way of giving back. "To give people that are thrown in to a tragic situation out of nowhere, far from home, some stuff to help them cope a little easier and honestly just in honor of Luke because they helped him, they saved him, and we wouldn't be here without Akron Children," said Nicole Holko.

"We have no way of thanking everybody that's helped us, so this is our way of paying it forward onto the next person. I just hope everybody else will take a chance and help somebody else in your community whether it's us or just anybody, just volunteer in your community and do whatever you can to help out the next person," said Chad Holko, Luke's dad.

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