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Sonia Rojas suffers from a kidney ailment

6/15/2004

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Two days after pitching
his high school team to the New York City public school championship, Danny Almonte issued an appeal on behalf of his mother.

Sonia Rojas, 30, is suffering from a kidney ailment in the
Dominican Republic and lacks the funds to pay for treatment.

"I need help urgently," Almonte told The Associated Press on
Sunday in a telephone interview from New York. "Help me save my
mother. It's urgent that my mother comes to the United States to
receive the treatment she needs. She'll die quickly if she stays in
the Dominican Republic. There are various people that will help her
if mommy arrives in the United States."

Almonte, whose perfect game in the 2001 Little League World
Series was erased when he was found to be too old, threw a
one-hitter Friday night to give James Monroe Campus High School a
4-0 win over George Washington at Shea Stadium.

Then, his focus shifted to his mother, who has had a tumor on
her left kidney for the past six years and needs regular dialysis
treatment.

Doctors have said that an operation is not possible.

"There is no cure," Rojas said. "It's like a death
sentence."

She receives two shots daily and needs dialysis every 20 days.
The treatment costs about $500 a month, an exorbitant amount in
this country. Rojas separated from her husband 14 years ago, and
she cannot work because of her illness.

In 2001, Rojas failed to obtain a U.S. visa to reunite with her
son, who is now 17. It was not clear if she was reapplying for one.

Almonte can be drafted by a major league team after his two
remaining years of high school eligibility are up in June 2006.

"I only hope that my mother can wait until then," Almonte
said. "That is when I'll be able to begin earning money to help
her."