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Rangers Ballpark Becomes Field Of Dreams For Terminally Ill Fan

By Susy Solis
|  Monday, Sep 20, 2010  |  Updated 4:14 PM CDT
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A terminally ill fan gets one of her last wishes granted by the <a title=Texas Rangers." />

A terminally ill fan gets one of her last wishes granted by the Texas Rangers.

Kathleen Barron, 69, has not missed a Ranger's baseball game since she began watching the team in 1989.

Friends, family, and now her doctors and nurses, know not to bother her during a game.

"She's frail, but when the game is on she's awake! We are not supposed to be calling her and we don't make our visits when she's watching the game," said Dr. Manoj Patel, Medical Director at Mercy Hospice, and Kathleen's long time doctor. "She doesn't pick up the phone, those are times we have to work around the games."

Barron jumped on the Ryan Express years ago and still has fond memories of Nolan Ryan's heyday.

Her home is filled with Ranger's memorabilia.

"Every morning we wake up to Nolan Ryan," said Beth Huber, Kathleen's sister. "There's a life-size poster of him above the bed in the guest room!"

She was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis two years after she beat breast cancer. Family members said she's always been a fighter.  But life threw her another curve ball just months ago.

"Really, in March, is when they came forward and diagnosed her with Stage 4 Cancer," said Huber. This time the cancer was in her lungs.

As she always has, Kathleen is living the end of her life on her own terms.

"She decided not to go through a second round of chemo," Huber said. "She decided to have a really great six months."

Dr. Patel wanted Kathleen to see one last Ranger's game in person. had to be made because she is wheelchair bound and needs oxygen 24 hours a day.

The Rangers organization made special arrangement to host Kathleen in her final days and provided a suite for her and her friends and family, along with some memorabilia to add to her extensive collection.

"I have an Nolan Ryan autographed ball," Kathleen said. "I'm so proud of it."

"She watched him pitch when he was a young man, so I think her having that baseball from him directly, it just means a lot to her," said Huber.

In this game of life, watching the Ranger's play has always lifted her spirits.

"They never give up and I'm a person that never seems to give up." she said.

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