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12-year-old stroke victim throws first pitch at Storm Chasers game

Posted: 10:10 PM, Jul 14, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-16 18:12:45-04

When Thorn Dondlinger first heard he would be throwing the first pitch at a Storm Chasers game, he admits having mixed feelings. 

"He's kind of a shy kid, so he was super excited and super nervous," says Karma Tinant, mom.

In fact, Thorn says he had so many butterflies in his stomach, he began to have second thoughts about his big pitch.

"When I was first getting pushed down there in my wheelchair I kind of didn't want to do it," says Thorn Dondlinger. 

But once he got some word of encouragement from Storm Chasers pitcher Eric Stout, he came back down the tunnel, pitched some warm-up throws and tossed it right down the middle.

"We came into Madonna like he was sitting in a wheelchair, basically no mobility on his right side, could barely lift his right leg, barely could lift his right arm, so he's made great progress in the last three weeks," says Tinant. 

The road to Werner Park was not easy. While training, not only was he trying to get back feeling on his right side, the right-hander learned to throw with his left hand. 

"We started working with his left arm when we found he got to do the first pitch so he's been working really hard with that left because that's unnatural to him and he had to change his stance because he can hardly put weight on the right," says Tinant. 

After his triumphant throw Thorn called it a top three moment of his life and his dad seconded that. 

"I was happy to be on the field with him as much he was, it was a big deal probably for both of us I really enjoyed it."