by Trish Adkins, ALSF
In Minnesota, there is a Vikings fan who really loves his team. A week before the division championship game, he won two Super Bowl tickets in a charity raffle, sponsored by Spare Key, a St. Paul, Minnesota charity that provides assistance to families with critically ill children. He was sure his team would make it to the Super Bowl. If they did not, well, he’d give away his Super Bowl tickets to a fan who would love to see their team play.
As everyone knows by now, the Vikings did not make it to the Super Bowl.
Meanwhile, in New Jersey, childhood cancer hero Cole Fitzgerald has had the same wish every year for as long as anyone can remember: for the Eagles to win the Super Bowl.
He shares this wish every year at the ALSF Lemon Ball. Here it is nestled among other Hero and SuperSibs wishes around the Fountain of Wishes.
This year Cole got his wish when the Eagles won the Super Bowl. What is amazing is how Cole got to see his wish come true.
That fan in Minnesota stopped watching the NFC division championship game after the first half, unable to watch the carnage and feeling resigned to a certain loss. He began searching online for an Eagles fan who might appreciate the Super Bowl ticket. Somehow, he landed on AlexsLemonade.org and found Cole—this kid—who 11 years ago fought high-risk neuroblastoma and survived. Cole survived with football dreams—not just for his beloved team to win the big game--but for someday to be a part of professional football. Childhood cancer treatment and other health issues made it impossible for Cole to be a football player. So, Cole was already pursuing his dream to be part of the staff that makes football happen. The Eagles invited Cole to work with the support staff during one regular season game—it was that accomplishment that made the Minnesota fan’s choice easy.
That fan in Minnesota, who so loved his team and had his own Super Bowl dreams, passed the dream on to Cole. And Cole took his father, Bill, along for the ride.
And well, the rest is history. Cole not only got his wish; but he got to see it happen, all thanks to the random act of kindness by a man he never met.
Unfortunately, his sisters, Maggie and Maeve, did not get their wish.
It doesn't seem like Cole will stop talking about the Eagles' win anytime soon.
Cole and his family are no strangers to random acts of kindness, but he is usually on the giving side. The Fitzgerald family is constantly bestowing their random acts of kindness upon ALSF—from fundraising and hosting lemonade stands to securing donations for our annual Hero Holiday party—this fabulous family of five some knows how to pay it forward.
February 17 is Random Acts of Kindness Day. Looking for some ways to celebrate with your family? Check out our ideas, inspired by all the RAKs we’ve seen and by our founder Alex Scott.