Rolesville, N.C. — A 12-year-old Rolesville girl with a rare liver disease doesn't live her life on the sidelines. Brooke Parrish won't let difficulty breathing keep her from the softball diamond.
Parrish started playing softball after watching her brothers on the baseball field. Though she's waiting for a liver transplant, Parrish stays in the game.
"It's not like I can't breathe. It's just really hard," she said.
Earlier this year, Parrish thought she had a cold. When it worsened, doctors diagnosed her with hepatopulmonary syndrome, a liver syndrome that affects her lungs.
"I can tell that when she gets to third base, she's out of breath," said Charlene Parrish, Brooke's mother.
The waiting game for a new liver is hard on the Parrish family, but they're not strangers to hardship. In 2006, Gregory Parrish, Brooke's older brother, died from a disease that put tumors throughout his nervous system.
"At that time, we thought we would never be doing anything like this ever again," Charlene Parrish said. Now, she adds, it's heart wrenching to watch a second child suffer from serious illness.
Still, Charlene Parrish said, the family is optimistic that Brooke will get a liver transplant soon.
"They could call and we need to be in Pittsburgh in six hours," she said.
A fundraiser for the family is set for June 23 at Rolesville Town Hall to help pay Brooke's medical expenses.