Sulphur resident Brooke Lindgren served as the Wounded Warriors batgirl Friday night. (Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Sunday, July 15, 2012 8:58 PM
SULPHUR — For 19-year-old Brooke Lindgren, Friday night was about more than just softball.
The Sulphur resident stood at attention by the Wounded Warriors dugout as their batgirl during the first game against the Bayou All-Stars. She was decked out in red, white and blue ribbons, perfect for the occasion to honor the amputee former armed service members.
Lindgren shares something in common with the veterans that goes beyond a love for the game — an amputation. And like the soldiers, she’s not letting her prosthetic right leg get in the way in her daily life, which includes playing Buddy Ball.
Lindgren has had her fair share of obstacles to overcome in her young life, from having her toes amputated before age 2 because of a blood infection, being diagnosed with Shwachman-Diamond syndrome at age 11 and enduring a bone marrow transplant in 2005 before her right leg amputation in 2008.
Shwachman-Diamond syndrome is a rare disease that primarily affects the pancreas, bone marrow and skeleton. Brooke’s mother, Rachel, said the illness makes Brooke “somewhat delayed.” But it’s never slowed her down, as she demonstrates a resilience that might be surprising to some.
“She’s very grounded and comfortable in herself,” Rachel Lindgren said. “You look at somebody with a prosthetic and think they’re limited, but it’s given her an ability to do more. She’s able to run and slide in Buddy Ball. It’s given her confidence to do these things she couldn’t do before.”
Sulphur Mayor Chris Duncan knew Brooke would be a perfect batgirl for the Battle on the Bayou this weekend. He said her competitive spirit is inspiring.
“The loss of a limb is no handicap for her … you can see that when she plays sports,” Duncan said. “She really gets after it, and she plays serious and she plays hard.”
Being surrounded by Wounded Warriors who have successfully confronted their injuries is inspiring for Brooke, as well. And, of course, spending time with Jennie Finch sweetens the deal.
“It’s awesome,” Brooke said of the experience on the field Friday. “It’s great to be around the game.”
Rachel Lindgren couldn’t be happier that her oldest daughter had the privilege to be in the presence of the Wounded Warriors and Finch on the softball field.
It was a chance for Brooke, who will graduate from Hope Christian School with her GED next year, to bond with role models who know all about adversity.
“She’s never been afraid or ashamed of her foot,” Rachel Lindgren said. “Nothing ever bothers her. It’s phenomenal she gets to see these men play and be a part of this.”
Brooke and the Wounded Warriors have their bats ready for the obstacles life throws their way.
• Where: McMurry Park in Sulphur.
• When: 4 p.m. Gates Open, 5 p.m. Batting Practice, 6 p.m. Home Run Derby, on-field veterans’ parade, 7 p.m. Game.
• Tickets: $10.
Posted By: Carolyn Deville, Brooke's dad's mother. On: 7/14/2012
Title: Brooke Lindgren
Wonderful article about my Beautiful grand daughter! I'm on my way to DeWitt, Iowa to visit great grandson & love technology that allows us to keep up with home. Thank you!