Farragut's Avery Flatford is one of two winners of a national award honoring athletes with cystic fibrosis.
Flatford, 13, aims to be the first collegiate softball pitcher with cystic fibrosis.
Her story has come into the national spotlight recently as she competed to win the Boomer Esiason Athlete of the Year award.
"It’s been amazing!" Avery said, "I’ve had all this support from my family members and my friends, Knoxville, and all the softball teams came together and voted for me, it's been great!"
The Boomer Esiason Foundation raises money to research and help those with the disease. Team Boomer, part of the organization, encourages children with cystic fibrosis to participate in sports. Avery said she will travel to New York to be a spokesperson for the disease and participate in a race.
Avery's dad and coach, Chuck Flatford, said their family has always challenged her to fight through her limitations. He said with or without the honor, she is a winner in his eyes.
"I see the hard work and dedication and the thousands and thousands of pitches and hundreds of hours that she’s put in just to be where she’s at today," Chuck said.
The Athlete of the Year award is decided by online voting.
Voting closed at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday. The Boomer Esiason Foundation announced Wednesday morning that Flatford is a co-winner of the award, receving more than 80,000 votes, along with 14-year-old Michael Caruso Davis of Delaware.
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