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AZVA student Campbell Faulkner with the Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber

Written by Jessica Schuler

Kyle Schwarber is the talk of the sports world this week. Just six months after undergoing major knee surgery resulting from an injury suffered the second game of the season, the Cubs’ slugger is defying odds by becoming one of the club’s most dependable hitters on baseball’s biggest stage – the World Series. 

As you watch the World Series this weekend, look closely while Schwarber is at bat and you’ll see he’s sporting a green wristband on his left wrist, signifying that he is a member of Campbell’s Crew. 

Schwarber met fifth grader Campbell Faulkner at spring training in Arizona two years ago. Campbell suffers from mitochondrial disease, a rare genetic disorder that makes it difficult for him to walk or stand for extended periods. The 10-year-old attends Arizona Virtual Academy (AZVA), which provides his family the flexibility to care for his medical needs. 

Campbell originally attended brick and mortar school, but his parents worried that the school wasn’t accommodating his medical needs. Additionally, he missed nearly 100 days of school due to illness and doctors appointments. In January, they enrolled him at AZVA, which allows him to complete his schoolwork on his own schedule. 

“Campbell is healthier at home,” his mother, Carrie Faulkner, told the Queen Creek Independent this summer.  

The green Campbell’s Crew wristband came into the national spotlight following Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday night. At his press conference after the Cubs’ 5-1 win in which he went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, a reporter asked about its significance. 

“Really young, smart kid, and he’s just always got a big smile on his face,” Schwarber said of Campbell. “You know, that draws your attention to him. He’s living life to his fullest, even though he’s got something to overcome … That’s a person you want to look up to right there.” 

Campbell’s family was blown away by the national recognition. 

“When Campbell saw Kyle wearing that green band on TV during the World Series, it was … so powerful,” Carrie told the Chicago Tribune. “Kyle took part of my son to the World Series with him.” 

“I always think that under his uniform, you can’t see it, but it’s like a superhero cape,” Campbell told his local TV station when describing Schwarber. “He’s my superhero.” 

About The Author

Jessica Schuler

Jessica Schuler joined K12 as manager of corporate communications in July 2016. Prior to K12, she spent 11 years working in athletics communications at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (2005-12) and at George Washington University (2012-16), supporting each school's athletics department and serving as primary media contact for several sports, including women's basketball. Jessica is a sports junkie who loves rooting for the Baltimore Orioles, Baltimore Ravens, Washington Capitals, Maryland Terrapins and GW Colonials. A native of the Baltimore area, she graduated from the University of Maryland in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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