‘Glory Days’ football tourney set to benefit AuBree Mincey
by W. Brian Hale
Nov 08, 2013 | 1739 views | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
AuBree Mincey
AuBree Mincey
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Four teams composed of former gridiron greats will don helmets and shoulder pads once again to capture glory and win a championship this month. Beyond the opportunity to return back to the football field and compete for bragging rights lies a more important reason why the “glory days” players are resuming the roles they had years ago — the needs of a young child affected by one of the most severe cases of spina bifida ever diagnosed.

AuBree Mincey was born on June 12, 2012, in Birmingham and immediately was thrust into a battle to correct the problems the disorder had caused to her body. Undergoing 14 surgeries in the first 10 months of her life, AuBree also spent three and a half months lying on her stomach at Children Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit while her family prayed for the closure of a large hole in her back — which ultimately resulted in an elongated head. A week after her release from the hospital, both of AuBree’s legs were in casts, which remained on her legs until after her first birthday. She stopped taking anything orally at five months old due to primary and secondary aspiration.

Approaching her 17th month of life, AuBree has seen some positive signs of progress in her ongoing battle. While opinions based on medical evidence from specialists suggest possible paralysis in her future from the waist down, she has had her two club feet straightened, her cleft palate repaired and is finally growing despite only weighing 13 pounds. A current process AuBree continues to undergo is called cranial banding — where she is required to wear a helmet for 23 hours a day in the hope that her elongated head will become more balanced and allow her to have more cranial control.

A setback for AuBree and her family came last month when they learned their insurance carrier would not provide a custom-made chair that would allow her to sit on her own and molded to match her malformed back. To raise the much-needing funding for such a chair, benefit ideas began to float through the family’s minds, as well as friends of the family who knew of AuBree’s circumstances. The result: the Glory Days tournament, played by former football players from across the area at Cordova’s Hudson-Kirby Stadium.

The tournament will be held at 10 a.m. on Nov. 16 and Nov. 23, with a second game to follow shortly after the first game’s completion. The two winners and losers will play on the Nov. 23, with the championship game taking place on Nov. 30. Both full-equipment and flag football games will be played, with equipment being donated by Curry and Cordova High Schools. The teams that will be competing will be from Cordova, Curry, Jasper and Oakman — fielded by players who have not competed in over 20 years to athletes who play semi-pro football.

Game programs will be sold at the event and gift baskets will be auctioned off to help further raise funds. For information on how to buy an ad in the program, donate an item or gift certificate for the gift basket or to join a team, call or text 300-0039.