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Gettin’ In The Game, Junior National Championships (JNC)


Date: November 8 – 10, 2019

2019 JNC Application 

Deadline For Applying:  August 12, 2019JNC Logo

Hemophilia of South Carolina participates each year in this exciting program as bleeding disorders Chapters throughout the United States are invited to participate in CSL Behring’s JNC by nominating two individuals from their local Chapters to attend the event. During the program, participants will have the opportunity to participate in a clinic where they will learn the fundamentals of baseball, golf, and swimming and enhance their skills in that sport, the importance of physical fitness in managing a bleeding disorder, and show off their baseball, golf, and swimming abilities in a national competition with fellow participants from around the country. Throughout the weekend, participants will have the opportunity to attend educational sessions to learn more about their bleeding disorders and the importance of physical fitness and healthy lifestyles. They will build relationships with fellow members of the bleeding disorders community by sharing personal experiences with one another.

  • Nominees must be 7-18 years of age and have a bleeding disorder to participate
  • Chapters can nominate up to two participants for their area to participate in either golf, baseball or swimming.
  • Each participant must be accompanied by one adult (parent or caregiver)
  • The selection of the participants is the sole responsibility of each Chapter. CSL Behring has no involvement in the participant selection process
  • CSL Behring will sponsor each Chapter-selected nominee and one accompanying adult to participate in the program. This sponsorship is free to participants and will include the coordination and cost of airfare, ground transportation in the program city and hotel arrangements (attendees will be responsible for transportation to and from their hometown airport). Scheduled meals will be provided on site.

2018 Participants – Cole Dean and Laithan Johnson

Cole Dean

In September I attended “Getting’ in the Game Junior National Championship” in Phoenix, Arizona. This was my second time attending the JNC playing baseball.  On the first day we had practice at the Mountain Vista Complex. We worked on pitching, fielding and batting. I received some great tips from my coaches Jesse Schrader and Pete Dyson. It was a refresher for me since I took a year off from baseball this year.  It felt great to be back out there on the baseball field! The next day was competition day and we went to Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Arizona. The baseball field was amazing. It was cool to play on the same field that the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies practice on. I even got to watch the Diamondbacks practice after our competition. During the batting competition your name and home town were on the Jumbo Tron which was really cool. Later that night was the award ceremony where more than 120 kids all received a participation medal for competing in either baseball, swimming or golf. I was shocked when my name was called for Outstanding Performance Top Baseball Score for my age group. After the awards ceremony we had a dance party with an ice cream bar. I had a good time dancing with my new friends that I had met at the JNC. I would encourage you to apply next year for the Junior National Championship. I had a great time! Thank you Hemophilia of South Carolina for letting me represent our chapter this year.

Cole Dean

Cole Dean

Laithan Johnson

Laithan and his father Charles attended the Junior National Championships sponsored by CSL Behring last month in Phoenix, AZ. Laithan age 8, is a severe Hemophiliac who was representing Hemophilia of South Carolina. The weekend offered the opportunity to participate in one of three sports, Golf, Swimming, or Baseball. Laithan chose golf. Never having golfed before when asked what made him chose golf, he said “I wanted to try something different and something I can do with my Dad”.  This was his first time ever picking up golf clubs other than miniature golf and he ended the weekend being awarded most improved. Laithan added, “the weekend was awesome, but really hot. Over 100 degrees. The pool was cool and had a fun water slide”. While golfing Laithan was able to get first hand instruction from professional golfer Perry Parker. Charles said that the weekend was great for the parents that chaperoned their kids as well. “It was really great to see these kids ages 7 to 18 coming together and not letting their bleeding disorder affect their playing sports. It always feels good to see how the kid’s confidence goes up when with other people sharing a similar disease. It’s like any barriers they may normally have come down, both physically and emotionally. Talking to other parents during meals and while the kids were participating was nice also. Sharing stories and experiences is always meaningful.” As for Laithan, he left the weekend wanting to play more golf and intends to have his Dad take him to the driving range back home. He would love to go back next year if given the opportunity.

Cole Dean

Laithan and Dad

2018 JNC Video

2017 Participant – Lucas Nash

by Father, Steve Nash

JNC Lucas Nash

Lucas and I attended the 17 annual CSL Behring Junior National championships this past weekend in Phoenix, AZ.  The event is put on by CSL Behring to bring together Golfers, Swimmers and Baseball players who are members of the Bleeding Disorder community ages 7-18 from around the country.  This year there were 125 athletes from 62 Bleeding Disorder organizations that participated in the event.

The trip out to Phoenix gave Lucas and I the opportunity to spend some Father & Son time together, which is few and far between at home.  Lucas has a new-found love for video production, and we worked together taking videos of many of the activities.  We actually took a nature walk around the hotel we were staying out in the Arizona desert and Lucas got to experience hugging a cactus, which by the way is not recommended.  The trip will add to my memory bank of Lucas growing up and the enjoyable time we had.

Each athlete was accompanied by a parent or caregiver, which gave us parents the opportunity to share life experiences with each other.    It allowed me to provide some hope to other parents, because as we all know it can be a bit overwhelming raising a child with a Bleeding Disorder.  As many of you may know, Lucas has grown into quite the young man in size.  It was a proud moment for me to see him interact with the younger, smaller kids and be a positive example of the importance of staying active, staying in shape and being diligent with their treatments.  I am confident that some of the kids and parents that we interacted with were encouraged by seeing Lucas’ development both physically and socially.  Hopefully it gave them the feeling that having a child with a Bleeding Disorder is not all gloom and doom, and things can and will turn out ok.

The athletic competitions were enjoyed by all the kids and it was a terrific opportunity for them to get out, compete against each other, and build some self-confidence knowing that even with a Bleeding Disorder they can be athletic.  However, the athletic competition as fun as it was, was not the main takeaway of the event for me, and I suspect Lucas as well.  The main takeaways were having the opportunity to spend time with kids and parents that face the same daily challenges as we do, to escape from those challenges for a couple days, and to instill some hope in others.

It was a memory making time and Lucas and I want to thank both CSL Behring for putting on this event and Hemophilia of SC for allowing us to represent the SC community.

Lucas Nash Video of the 2017 JNC

The Team 2016

Cole Dean

“I was chosen to represent Hemophilia of South Carolina and compete in the CSL Behring, 2016 “Gettin’ in the Game Junior National Championship” in Phoenix, Arizona. It was one of the greatest experiences I have ever had. They had three sports to compete in; baseball, golf and swimming. I chose baseball! On the first day we went to the Mountain Vista baseball complex, and they had a coaching clinic set up where we worked on the fundamentals of baseball and proper techniques. The coaches told us we always need to stretch before physical activity and how staying active is very important.

The next day we went to the Big League Dreams sports park in Gilbert, Arizona. It was here where we would compete to raise money for our local chapter. It was so cool to receive a bunch of high fives from everyone as we got off the bus. I have never before played at such an amazing ballpark! The fields were replicated after real major league ballparks. I felt like a real big leaguer as I stepped onto the field. They had music playing, and people everywhere were cheering! It felt great! I was coached up by two former baseball players in Jesse Schrader and Pete Dyson! They were great! They gave me some great tips and showed me how to position my feet correctly at the plate and how to pitch properly. I had such an awesome time at the JNC and I will never forget it! Thank you, Hemophilia of South Carolina, for choosing me for this wonderful experience”.  –Cole Dean

Cole Dean

Cole Dean

Brandon Gross

“I was lucky enough to go to JNC for a second year in a row for baseball. This year I met two major league pitchers: Chris Capuano, he’s my favorite pitcher, and Kameron Loe. Both pitchers played for the Milwaukee Brewers, which is where we are originally from. Kameron Loe pitched to us for the batting competition. I also won the competition for my age group! In addition to meeting families from all over the United States who also deal with hemophilia on a daily basis, I was able to spend time with my cousin, who also has hemophilia, and my aunt as they were selected to represent the Wisconsin Chapter. While I would love to go to JNC many more times, I encourage other kids to apply next year for this amazing experience”. –Brandon Gross

Brandon Gross

Brandon Gross