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April 06, 2015

Little boy with inspiring story to throw out Phillies Opening Day first pitch

Phillies Opening Day
04062015_CBP_AP Matt Slocum/AP

Citizens Bank Park

As a sponsor for the Phillies Opening Day, Nemours A.I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington has chosen one of its patients to throw out the first pitch Monday.

Eight-year-old Kyle Shanahan of Warrington, a big Phillies fan, will take the mound for the ceremony.

"I think I am going to do a change-up," he told 6abc

Shanahan was born with Spina Bifida, a birth defect where the spinal column does not form completely, 6abc reports. He also has fluid buildup on his brain, a condition known as hydrocephalus.

He's had about 17 surgeries. He needs braces to support his legs, and is getting fitted for a wheelchair for longer distances. But his parents say his physical limitations don't slow him down, or get him down. 

His dad, Kyle Sr., told 6abc that his son has been a fan for years.

"When they went to the World Series in '08, he knew all the players, he was 2 years old, he knew everybody," he said.

He will be joined by Philadelphia University men's basketball coach Herb Magee and N.J. native and cancer survivor Julie Kramer who are also throwing first pitches. First pitches will be thrown at 3 p.m.

See the rest of the Opening Day event lineup.