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Kyle Fleming Celebrates Home Run For Life at June 22 RedHawks Game

June 19, 2013 - Pacific Coast League (PCL) - Oklahoma City Dodgers News Release

OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma City RedHawks and INTEGRIS Health are proud to continue the "Home Run for Life" series on Saturday, June 22. The RedHawks and INTEGRIS will honor Kyle Fleming, a 29 year-old from Sand Springs who has been able to begin to live a normal and healthy life after receiving a liver transplant at the INTEGRIS Nazih Zuhdi Transplant Institute.

"Home Run for Life" recognizes people in the Oklahoma City community who, with the help of their families, physicians and health care professionals, have overcome a significant medical event in their life. Honorees are recognized during the game and get to take a home run "lap" around the bases, symbolizing the end of a battle against adversity.

"We are very proud to partner with INTEGRIS Health and continue the ‘Home Run for Life' series," RedHawks President/General Manager Michael Byrnes said. "It gives us a chance to highlight some special people who have summoned a lot of courage and strength to get where they are today."

Kyle was born with Glycogen Storage Disease Ib - a genetic disorder that impairs the liver from converting glycogen into glucose. In order to survive, Kyle had to ingest uncooked cornstarch every two hours to keep his blood sugar from dropping to dangerously low levels, even while he was sleeping at night. He also had to stay away from foods high in sugar, such as chocolate, ice cream, and all fruits.

Last year Kyle was admitted to INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center with severe abdominal pain. Tests revealed his liver had become extremely enlarged. There were also several tumors that developed as a byproduct of the Glycogen Storage Disease.

Dr. John Duffy and the staff at the INTEGRIS Nazih Zuhdi Transplant Institute determined the best chance for Kyle to survive was to receive a liver transplant. Once a match was located, the transplant was a success and Kyle has been able to live free of pain and excessive dietary restrictions. Although he still has trouble sleeping through the night, he is happy he no longer has to constantly consume cornstarch.

Kyle has been expanding his diet and now really enjoys barbecue and watermelon. However, he doesn't care for sweets even though he's now able to eat them.

"If you've never eaten something before, a lot of times it's not something you'll like, especially if your taste buds have gotten used to what you consider normal," Kyle said. "Since I never ate stuff with sugar, I never knew what I was missing."

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