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Desmond raising money to combat neurofibromatosis

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PHILADELPHIA -- Baseball isn't the only thing on Ian Desmond's mind these days. The Nationals' shortstop is thinking about his friend, Ethan Brown, who has neurofibromatosis. In Brown's case, he has two tumors on each side of his brain stem.

With the help of the internet fundraising site Indiegogo, Desmond is raising money to fight against neurofibromatosis. He is looking to raise $10,000. As of Sunday morning, he has reached 76 percent of his goal. He has picked up $7,604 in donations. Information on how to donate can be found at Nationals.com/ENDNF.

Desmond met Brown through a twitter feed called "Unashamed Athletes." Brown went on the twitter feed and said he needed prayers before having surgery. Desmond sent Brown a prayer and the two have become friends ever since. Desmond and Brown talk a couple of times a week.

Almost every time the Nationals go to Atlanta, Brown and Desmond meet up and talk about life.

"He is a great kid. You never know that he has this disease," Desmond said. "His spirits are contagious. … [I'll do anything] to help him and people similar to him that are fighting through this battle with neurofibromatosis."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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