Jayson Werth's biggest fan, an 8-year-old girl, finally visits Washington

Washington Nationals super-fan finally gets to visit DC and her favorite player.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Jude Ozaluk, better known as Jude Oz, who lives just outside of Denver, Colorado. And while she doesn’t live in the area, she’s a Jayson Werth superfan.

Her love of baseball in general and Werth in particular led to a moment that will change some other little girl's life.

Jude's story began in August 2016 when she watched her favorite player get hit by a pitch. Her reaction went viral. Fast forward to June 2017 with red carpet treatment in the District and a visit with the Nationals left fielder.

"On the plane, I told my dad we're going to Washington...finally," Jude said.

Since becoming a viral sensation, people continue to learn more about her,like why she looks very different now than she did then.

"I donated, I shaved all of it off for an 11-year-old girl who's going thorough chemo," she said.

She was raising money for the St. Baldrick's foundation, inspired by her uncle who has cancer. 
Her new-found celebrity turned her $750 goal into nearly $13,000 thanks to Nats fans and nearly $1,000 from Werth himself.

"I liked it but I felt sad my brother didn't get any attention," she said.

Her brother, 15-year-old Nate, is on the spectrum and doesn't really want the attention. But she never missed an opportunity to shine the light on him.

"Probably go to the museum and spend time with my brother and my parents," June said, describing her hopes for her upcoming visit to D.C.

Her parents are Danielle and Chris Ozaluk.

And the household is baseball crazy. They have Natitude showing on the front of their house, in the little league team Jude plays for and Dad coaches.

"I watched [Bryce] Harper come up,” her dad said. “I been a big Harper fan."

"Dad tried getting me into Harper but I started looking over to left field at Werth and I wanted him more because he has all those diving catches," Jude said.

RELATED: Jayson Werth's biggest fan raises money for kids with cancer

Remember all that attention Jude's been getting, it led to the blog, "Talk Nats," to offer an invitation she couldn't refuse.

The shock turned into overwhelming gratitude. The blog funded the trip because they heard the family of four crunched the numbers and just couldn't afford it on their own.

Nats fans helped out with a hotel, tickets, and more. Once Jude got to town, it was all museums and baseball.

"Was that a change up?" she said. "That's nasty."

She threw out the first pitch Thursday at the minor league Potomac Nationals game. And she decided they should use that opportunity to have an equipment drive for children who love baseball, but can't afford it.

They even bought 20 pairs of batting gloves to help fill up the donation box.

The  next day she got to catch up with her favorite player, who was on the disabled list her whole visit. And her dad got to meet his favorite, Bryce Harper.

"The best thing I can tell you, is there's no handbook on how to be a parent. And you never know really as a parent how you're doing. But when things like this happen you kinda know you're doing something the right way,” her parents said. “If you look at hindsight was that interaction happened so a greater good could happen. It wasn't even really about Jayson or even about Jude. It was a much bigger thing in my opinion."

That bigger thing is the nearly $13,000 she raised for St Baldrick's, the attention she brought the organization, her desire to always give to others and showing people the love of family.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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