A little girl is serving as inspiration for an entire big-league coaching staff. New York Mets‘ assistant pitching coach Jeremy Accardo has an eight year-old, named Leighton, who is fighting Stage 4 malignant germ cell tumors since May 2019. And after Accardo takes responsibility of his duties as a father, most notably home-schooling his children, he goes out for a daily run.
It is not a regular run, however. He is training to run the New York City Marathon on November 1, and he will do it with his daughter on his mind.
Little Leighton has been undergoing chemotherapy ever since last May, and according to Yahoo! Sports’ Tim Brown, she has traveled to New York on occasion to undergo surgeries.
So, while she keeps fighting her condition, Accardo will do the same, fighting to run that extra mile and be in shape when the marathon comes. He will run it under the “Leighton Strong” banner.
Leighton’s story has inspired not only her father, but the rest of the New York Mets’ coaching staff.
Even Mets’ manager Luis Rojas is showing his support
Mets’ manager Luis Rojas, third base coach Gary DiSarcina and pitching coach Jeremy Hefner, among others, are also getting up early for a morning run. They even have a group chat in which they share their progress to let Leighton know she is not alone.
“She’s fighting her ass off,” DiSarcina told Yahoo! Sports. “And I’m feeling humbled and honored to put myself through the training for such an incredible little girl.”
The Mets are staying united and together for this particular fight in support for their assistant pitching coach. Leighton, per SNY, has touched lives in other locations in her battle. She even signed a one-day contract with the Arizona Coyotes of the NHL in 2019, spending a day skating and talking to members of the organization.