Everyone around the Nanaimo NightOwls family is smiling this week as Tina Cornett is back in the team’s Serauxmen Stadium office. That can only mean one thing — Simon said.


Many know what has taken place in the lives of the Cornett/Baker family the last six months. For those not aware, Tina’s son Simon Baker was the age of 16 on the day in late September when health alarm bells went off and resulted in a rushed helicopter ride from the Island to B.C Children’s Hospital in Vancouver — airlifted to begin treatment for Hodgkins Lymphoma, tumors encroaching on his heart and airways.


It came out of the blue. Every fear coursed through the family. Chemo in Vancouver led to radiation in Seattle, and a few curveballs along the way. Cancer doesn’t play by the rules.


Six months of treatments later, Simon is home, and a family pushed to the limit is able to seek normalcy. That will take time, but Tina is eager to get back to season prep for the NightOwls and their second season.


Simon will be monitored, closely — but treatments have been wholly successful. Simon kicked cancer’s butt. Now comes the life side of healing.

“The support from people from the community, and indeed all over the continent, was a great source of comfort for the whole family,” said Jim Swanson, GM of the NightOwls. “One of our owners, Helen Edwards, is a philanthropist who admires the work at Children’s and immediately stepped in to help as well. The NightOwls supported Tina and family throughout and could not be more proud of Simon, of the whole family.


“I can say on behalf of Tina in particular, thank you to everyone who supported in every possible way, always asking how Simon was doing. This was community at its best.”


Tina steps back into the NightOwls office knowing Kent Malpass, and colleagues in Victoria, have assisted with offseason planning and logistical duties. People stepped up at every turn. She’s excited to reconnect with season ticket holders, valued corporate partners and other stakeholders who are overjoyed the West Coast League has set a firm foundation in the Harbour City and region.


For all those showing patience through this time, thank you.


“I know Tina is fired up for this second season, with outstanding coaches, a strong player roster, and Nanaimo fans eager to see what’s new for year two,” said Swanson. “We’re glad to see this awful news behind them all. It’s turned into a great story — and I can’t wait to see Simon throw out a first pitch at a game in June.”