Chelsea, Ind. man given memento for cheating death twice after tornadoes strike

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by WHAS11

WHAS11.com

Posted on March 7, 2012 at 7:44 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 7 at 9:21 PM

(WHAS11) -- A Chelsea, Ind. man who drove his truck out of the path of a tornado has now cheated death two times. He has a special memento to represent both of them.

It's a story of survival, persistence and baseball bats.

It all started with this monster of a storm barreling towards Steve Kleopfer's home in Chelsea, Ind. Steve got in his truck and took off down 62. When he returned 10 minutes later his home was gone. It was picked up spun and dumped 50 yards away.

Steve's wife Teri invited WHAS11 into the house during our live coverage Saturday morning and she showed us a bat that signified Steve's first survival story. He survived cancer.

People from the Louisville Slugger were watching that report and they decided a second miracle deserves a second bat.

"The idea was spawned when we saw the live shot of you, [Andy Treinen WHAS11] holding that bat amid-st the rubble and talking about how Steve had survived that cancer, and that symbol of strength and fighting through and surviving," said Rick Redman, VP of Corporate Communications of Hillerich & Bradsby.

It's a spirit of survival and strength that not only fuels the affected southern Ind. communities, it defines them.

"He survived another, he must have nine lives," said Teri.

Visit our Kentuckiana Tornado section for the latest photos, stories, news and info on how you can help after Friday's storms.



 

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