She was born the year the Cardinals went to their last world championship; A lot has happened since then and she’s excited about the playoffs


This story is about heroes and they come of all ages, shapes and forms from the biggest baseball player like Albert Pujols to the youngest kids like Julia Drummond. The number 11 appears to play a role in their story.

Albert Pujols played his first 11 seasons in Major League Soccer with the St. Louis Cardinals, beginning in 2001. With Pujols at first base, the Cardinals won 11 of their seasonsThe tenth World Championships in 2011.

The Drummond family was at Busch Stadium on October 2 as part of the annual “Walk in the Park” event held by the Down Syndrome Society in Greater St. Louis. Albert Pujols, whose daughter Isabella has Down syndrome, is known to excel on the day people with Down syndrome are honored – and he hasn’t disappointed.

Julia Drummond, the youngest of the family was there to help celebrate her cousin Henry, who has Down syndrome. She’s happy to bring attention to others, because there was a time when the focus was always on her — and not for a good reason.

Julia is a survivor just like Albert Pujols and their ways on life’s journey. The year the Cardinals won the world championship – 2011 – was the year you were born.

In those 11 years since she was born and the Cardinals won the world championship, a lot has happened to Pujols – and a lot has happened to Julia. After the World Championships, he left St. Louis to play baseball with the Angels for 10 years before being released. After facing the prospect of getting out of baseball, the Dodgers signed him, giving him new life and enthusiasm. This year he returned to the Cardinals – just as strong as before. In those same 11 years, she developed cancer – but came back stronger than ever.

Of course, the ups and downs of a successful baseball player can’t be compared to the atrocities a child with cancer has to contend with – but Julia and her family are Cardinals fans and have been to many games this year and are really hoping in some publications for the success of the season with the team this year. And while they are completely different, they both have had a great comeback.

Julia, also called “Jobby,” was diagnosed with leukemia in 2014 at the age of three. Not only leukemia, but “lymphocytic leukemia of the central nervous system” also referred to is type B ALL of the central nervous system. Oh, the words that young parents Steve Drummond and Liz Russell Drummond should have learned but never had to hear.

The photo was taken six months before her diagnosis, while she was just a happy, carefree little girl. As soon as the diagnosis came, everything changed.

Her family’s life revolved around doctor’s appointments, emergency room visits, trying to relieve nausea from chemotherapy, helping her deal with her pain, and all that comes with childhood cancer. Her mom once posted a picture of Gopi in her cute little school uniform – and a bowl thrown in her lap, to make others aware of what she was going through, just to get to school.

The year Albert Pujols was diagnosed was in his third year with the Angels and hit 28 Homer that year – with 11 of intentional walks. In 2016, it infected 31 people and another in the same year, after two and a half years of cancer, underwent the last treatment. This doesn’t mean it’s over because there are yearly checkups and every time she got sick her parents were holding their breath.

In the 11 years since the Cardinals’ last World Championship, and 11 years on Earth, she’s been through a lot, which is why just going to the Cardinals game means so much to her and her family. The photo, right, shows Julia and her brother Zach heading to the stadium to watch Yadier Molina and Pujols at their last regular game on Sunday.

On that day, the Drummond family, including Julia, her mother Liz, and father Steve, and Zach, were searching for Albert Pujols’ home, and they got one. Julia’s older sister, Irene is a pre-med student at Mizzou and couldn’t get away that day.

Sitting in the stands at Busch Stadium on such a beautiful day and then watching the Pujols walk their grounds, they were all so excited. They are really grateful to be able to enjoy such a walk with her in good health.

“We’re definitely lucky to have her here,” said her mother, Liz Russell Drummond. “She was admitted (to the hospital) or in the clinic for most of the first year and diagnosed and often within the next 1.5 years.”

“She literally almost died the first time we took her to the hospital,” Liz said. “The doctor couldn’t believe she was walking and talking because after some tests, the doctor said that if she didn’t have a blood transfusion at the time, she would have a heart attack and could die at any moment.

“She was in the hospital for about two and a half years at the start of her diagnosis.”

It is a pleasure for Liz and Steve Drummond to have their son and know that Erin was where she should be. One of the hardest things for the family of a child with cancer is how to fit in siblings. Their parents are too busy trying to help a sick child who often feels left out. Siblings of children with long-term illnesses can wish even if they were sick so that they could get some of the attention given to the other child. This adds a whole new dimension to parents who are completely thinly spread out. Siblings can sometimes act or make poor choices only to be noticed, but this was not the case with Julia’s brother and sister.

“I am very proud of my two older children,” Liz said. “They could have been resentful, jealous or indolent and instead supported their sister and we are like no other. Even though we went a lot, they kept working hard and took the lead in the house.”

Julia was very ill during her siblings’ teenage and tween years, but both Erin and Zack earned high grades, excelled in sports and won scholarships for their hard work – and were champions at home in many ways.

Zack is in Missouri’s accelerated MBA program on a full scholarship, and Erin gets a full trip to Mizu.

Her mother said, “Irene went to Cor Jesu Academy, Class of 2020, she played ice hockey at John Burroughs and was a teammate of Will DeWitt, son of Bill DeWitt III.”

Zach played hockey in Vianney along with other sports. Parents, grandparents (also champions of time spent with children) and friends saw that they participated in all of their sports and other activities. Between the two, Erin and Zack played: baseball, soccer, ice hockey, and ice hockey. Looking back, the family is amazed at everything that happened in those 11 years – and it was all made possible thanks to everyone’s support for the others.

The family still supports each other and everyone but Erin met at Busch Stadium to support their five-year-old cousin Henry, who has Down syndrome. Pictured, Julia is leaving the game with her cousins ​​Molly, Casey, and Maura.

Zach is on the MSU hockey team and played a game in Texas on Friday and Saturday and then drove all night Saturday through Sunday morning to be in St. Louis with his family for the Cardinals’ last home game.

He arrived in Springfield, Missouri at 6:45 a.m., unloaded and repacked, before driving for three hours to St. Lukes to meet Julia and the rest.

Now, Julia is a fun-loving 11-year-old Cardinals cheerleader who was excited to be with her family at Busch Stadium for Albert Pujols’ 702nd.

Their paths intersect again when Pujols, whose daughter has Down syndrome, hits Homer in front of a group of families of children with Down syndrome.

On this day, Julia was there to support Henry and his parents (her uncle and aunt) Patrick and Maureen Russell.

“Walk in the Park” is an annual event sponsored by the Down Syndrome Society of Greater St. Louis (DSAGSL). It brings families and friends together for a day of awareness and encouragement for Cardinals. It was a special ticket package that included a group rally, a pre-game tour around the Bush Stadium warning track, a baseball ticket, and a T-shirt.

Julia, Liz, Zack, and Steve, right, are all smiling after seeing Pujols running their lands.

For many, Pujols is a hero. But in the Drummond family, they see their children as real heroes – each in different ways.

“I’m a proud mama,” said Liz Russell Drummond.

Pujols feel the same way about his children.

He says of Isabella, “I am so proud to be her father.”

Regarding number 11, Julia is hoping to see a world championship this year, so she’ll remember what happened when she was 11.

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