9/11 first responder organizing charity game for Iraqi veteran
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- He was a first responder at Ground Zero, a cancer survivor, a baseball coach, and now a Mount Pleasant man is looking to add one more title, that of philanthropist.
Teaching life and baseball go hand in hand according to Tim Gansrow, who runs Pro Performance Athletics in Mt. Pleasant. Gansrow said he had no idea how much one - baseball - would help him cope with the other - life - until the day terrorists attacked the U.S.
"I was a first responder at Ground Zero. As a result of my time there, as a first responder doing rescue and recovery, I was afflicted with cancer," he said.
Gansrow spent 20 years in law enforcement with both the FBI and New York Police Department. His diagnosis came in 2010 after almost a year of ignoring symptoms, which left him with stage four lymphoma.
Gansrow recovered in 2011, then complications made him sick again in 2012. It was then he decided to return home to South Carolina.
"I wanted to live. My goal was to live, and my goal was to make sure that I was there for my family and it took some time to find health. When I found that health, I wanted to relocate here," said Gansrow.
Back at home, Gansrow came across the story of Iraqi veteran Nick Riccio, who suffered a traumatic brain injury shortly after enlisting.
"To see a man that had that much will to live and then come back home and start a family and go through the struggles, the incredible struggles from a traumatic brain injury, he needed our help; it had to be done," he said.
Gansrow organized a softball-filled weekend where he hopes to raise $25,000 for both Riccio and the Wounded Warrior Project fund. He said their front lines may have looked different, but helping out a brother in need is what first responders do.
"The brotherhood exists because you know that at any given moment, it's the man or woman standing next to you, to the right or left of you, that potentially is going to save your life and allow you to go home to your children," said Gansrow.
The weekend begins Friday with clinics followed by a softball tournament and home run derby at the Jones Center. There will also be activities for the kids, so families are encouraged to show up.
The Jones Center is located at 391 Egypt Road in Mount Pleasant.