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By Zach Ewing
The Californian's summer intern, Cameron Miller (you might remember him as a great cross country runner locally a couple of years ago), was at a fundraiser dinner Thursday night for Stockdale rising senior Alexis Rodriguez, who was diagnosed with a blood clot on her brain last month and was hospitalized in a scary situation. Alexis' condition still is a concern, but she was at the dinner. Cameron was there to report, both in writing and with a couple of video interviews:
BY CAMERON MILLER
With their teammate Alexis Rodriguez back in Bakersfield but still recovering from the two blood clots in her brain doctors discovered last month, Stockdale softball players and coaches hosted a benefit dinner Thursday evening as part of a continued effort to raise money for Rodriguez’s medical expenses.
The event, which was catered by Salty’s BBQ and also supported by Sangera Automotive Group, was held at the Stockdale cafeteria and appeared to be well-attended. It marked the second fundraiser put on by the Stockdale softball program to aid the Rodriguez family, following a car wash on June 24th.
“After we had our car wash, we had people from Sangera contact our principal, Ramón Hendrix, and ask about wanting to host an event,” Stockdale softball coach Amanda Hockett said. “They’ve been generous enough to purchase the food for us so we’re able to make as much money as possible. So just between an employee at Sangera, Rich Hitchcock, and myself, we organized it and ran with it.”
A rising senior who was in attendance on Thursday, Rodriguez reportedly began to have migraine headaches during the spring, and in early June was rushed to a local hospital after experiencing numbness and slurred speech. It was then that two blood clots in her brain were discovered, and she was airlifted to Madera and later UCSF Medical Center, where she stayed for nearly two weeks. Rodriguez returned to Bakersfield in late June, and is currently undergoing multiple forms of physical rehabilitation.
Throughout her harrowing journey, the Stockdale and Kern County softball communities championed Rodriguez’s cause on social media, using the hashtag #PrayforAlexis. The outpouring of support did not surprise Stockdale assistant coach Marlece Hornbuckle, who has coached Rodriguez at the high school and club levels.
"It’s been a really amazing thing,” Hornbuckle said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re at a different high school or different club team, everybody’s just come together like one big family and to help support another player in need. It’s been awesome.”
Rodriguez is a three-year varsity player for Hockett, posting a .184 batting average this past season while manning left field. And while her status for the 2015 campaign is unknown at this early juncture, Hockett believes that Rodriguez’s legacy as a Mustang is already cemented.
“She’s a kid that never says no, never gives any attitude, always going to give 100 percent, whether she’s sick or hurt” Hockett said. “She’s always going to help you out when her help is needed, do whatever she’s told. When you say, ‘jump,’ she says ‘how high?’”
“She’s got a lot of support behind her just because of her attitude, the person that she is and the person her family raised her to become.”