Badman’s name lives on with softball tournament

08.05.2011

Source: auburnpub.com Michelle Prego-Milewski Special to The Citizen AuburnPub.com | Posted: Friday, August 5, 2011 3:05 am

In the three years since their daughter’s death, Scott and Gail Badman have made sure that no one will forget the name Koryn Badman any time soon.

Koryn was just 15 years old when she passed away from Primary Pulmonary Hypertension, or PPH. Since then, the Badmans and friends of Koryn have been working hard to keep her memory alive. They have organized a Spirit Award and for the past two years, a softball tournament to benefit a scholarship in her name.

On Saturday, 12 area teams will play at Ettinger Field in Moravia, where Koryn and her older sister, Jessica, went to school. Scott is still an assistant coach on the football team and Gail is a volunteer coach with the cheerleading squad.

The idea for the softball tournament was Jessica’s. Koryn was a varsity cheerleader, but because of her illness, she could never play softball.

“She brought it up to us and we said we’d give it a try,” Badman said. “We’d see if we’d get enough people, and as it worked out it turned into a really good idea.”

Koryn was diagnosed with PPH much earlier than most. According to the American Heart Association, the majority of new diagnoses occur in woman ages 20-40, but men and children of all ages can develop it. Koryn began battling the disease as a baby, and the Badmans were advised to keep her out of school.

Scott and Gail decided against it.   

“We told her we’d like her to do normal things and be around people,” Badman said. “We let her go to school and it turned out to be the right thing. She had a lot of friends everywhere you looked.

“She loved people, she had friends that were very close toher. She tried to be as normal as possible so we let her be that way.”

As she grew up, Koryn wanted to do the things that other kids her age did, despite her limitations.

“There were a lot of things she couldn’t do and she knew it — such as play her sports,” Scott said. “But she still liked the other girl things. She liked going to the mall.

“It was a chore to go through the mall but she always found a way to do it. Her friends would help her out or they wouldn’t do certain things. They accommodated her quite a bit.”

Koryn was a Girl Scout and a mascot, but was an avid cheerleader. Gail could always keep an eye on her at practice, and Scott could be there for extra support during football games.  

“She couldn’t walk across the field a lot of the time so they’d pick her up and carry her over,” Badman said.

When Koryn was a sophomore, she had what Scott described as an ‘unexpected downfall.’ She succumbed to PPH in April.

Despite their tragic loss, the Badmans love to talk about Koryn. And they still have a lot to be proud of.

The fall after she passed away, the football team wore black armbands with a K on it, and the cheerleaders still wear a pink K with a halo around it in her memory.

The Badmans and Moravia have established a Spirit Award and the Koryn Badman Invitational for cheerleading. Koryn’s friend McKenna Plumadore came up with the idea to dedicate the 2010 class yearbook to her, and presented Gail and Scott with a copy.

The memorial softball tournament benefits a scholarship that is not given to the best student, Scott says, but someone who embodies what Koryn was about.   

The tournament has grown from seven teams last year to 12 this year, and Scott would like to keep it at that number. There will be raffles with prizes given away by local merchants and food for the players and spectators.

The double elimination tournament is just for fun, and not for serious competition.

Scott is expecting a good turnout from Koryn’s friends to come down and help out.

“They see this as a way of being a part of something good for her,” he said.

Plumadore will be on hand to show her support.

“She was a special girl to a lot of people,” she said. “She was a motivator, if anything, to a lot of people even still today. Strive for excellence, do your best no matter what circumstances you face.”

Copyright 2011 AuburnPub.com. All rights reserved.

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