Brentwood Academy baseball team befriends, supports 3rd grader with cancer

Courtesy: Brentwood Academy

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WKRN) – A local high school is rallying around an 8-year-old boy diagnosed with cancer.

The Brentwood Academy baseball team is pulling for Talan Williams.

On Monday, some of the players came to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital to visit the little boy.

Life changed for the third grader at Crieve Hall Elementary School last March when he was diagnosed with metastatic Ewing’s Sarcoma, a type of bone cancer.

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

“Right then, whenever I knew it, I had four tears. I sucked it up and listened to a little music and that’s where I started getting a good attitude,” said Talan.

PHOTOS: Baseball team befriends boy with cancer

The tumor was the size of a softball.

Talan, 8, is finishing up his 12th round of chemotherapy. He has two more rounds to go. He’s also undergone 28 radiation treatments.

In October, he’ll find out if the cancer is in remission.

“My son went from playing baseball and running and everything, and now he is crippled and can’t walk. He has grown a lot and so have I,” said the boy’s mother, Ashley Dru Barnhill.

The mother and son have found strength in people around them, like members of the Brentwood Academy baseball team, who’ve become more like family lately.

“These boys take time out of their day to come visit and it’s just amazing. It’s like they are my brothers,” said Talan.

Courtesy: Brentwood Academy

One of Brentwood Academy’s assistant coaches is Talan’s former coach.

In April, players came up with the slogan “Team Talan” and dedicated a baseball game to the little boy.

“He called a couple of pitches to the pitcher; he announced the batting order; he was all over the place and it was awesome. He threw out the first pitch and we had a prayer around him,” said Brentwood Academy assistant baseball Coach Chandler Ganick.

The baseball players are lifting Talan’s spirits and he’s teaching them an important life lesson, to never take anything for granted.

“We kind of have these problems that we worry about day to day, and then we met Talan, and all of that changed. Our problems just kind of washed away. He gives us something to play for and live our life for. He’s a bigger man than all of us,” said baseball player Jay Stanga.

Crieve Hall Elementary has partnered with Goodwill Industries for a donation drive on Saturday, September 26 from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the school parking lot.

For information, contact Brentwood Academy Assistant Baseball Coach Daniel Cage at 615-812-7722 or by email at

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