Sunday, May 26, 2013

Harper's Heroes

Cancer is a two-sided coin.  In the midst of the terror and heartache of watching a loved one suffer, is the startling realization that you've never felt more loved in your entire life.   Since Spencer's release from the hospital nearly a year ago, it has been a struggle for us to reconcile a keen sense of vulnerability we face with the  compulsion to give back in some small way a portion of the generosity and kindnesses that were showered upon us.  And yet no matter what we do we feel it is an impossible task, since the kindness has never ended.  Take yesterday, for example.

Yesterday we were invited by the Leukemia Lymphoma Society to attend a Nationals baseball game with a program called "Harper's Heroes".  Bryce Harper, the dashing young phenom on the Nats, has a personal connection with leukemia and has reached out to give a little hope and joy to those who have already fought or who are currently still fighting the battle.    In addition to taking time out of his busy schedule to meet with us personally,   he also paid for all of our tickets (in the seventh row) and the food vouchers that we all received.  It turned out to be an amazingly fun day and Bryce Harper has at least seven new #1 fans in our house!    Take a look at our great day!  

4:15pm--we arrived to Nationals Park and we met our group of four other fellow pediatric cancer survivors and their families (about 25 of us in all)

5:00pm --they took all the kids to the field, so they could watch the Nationals batting practice up close and personal.  All the parents watched from just behind the Nats dugout.  

5:39pm--we headed inside to the press conference room and met Bryce Harper.   He spoke to us for a few minutes about his personal connections with cancer (a friend who survived leukemia, another friend who died from leukemia, and a grandparent who'd had prostate cancer) and he talked about how important his faith and family are to him.  

5:50ish:  After talking for a few minutes he opened it up to a question/answer session.  It was mostly the parents who did the asking, but once again he talked of his love for his family and how that was his favorite way to spend any free time that he had.  He also talked of how hard he'd worked to get where he was and that he'd graduated from high school after his sophomore year so that he could pursue baseball.  He seemed like a genuinely great guy.

5:55pm--he signed autographs and allowd the families to take pictures with him.

He signed a lot of his autographs with the scripture reference Luke 1:37, which reads "With God nothing shall be impossible."  

Here we are just chilling with Bryce!  

The REAL Harper's Heroes (the leukemia slayers) take a picture with Bryce Harper.

7:14pm--the Nationals vs. Phillies finally game began.  

Ellie was quite excited whenever the Nats would score a "goal" (apparently she's a bit more familiar with lacrosse and hockey, than baseball) and all of us had to cheer extra loud because we were completely surrounded by Phillies fans. 

Although the Nats ended up losing 5-3, it was a very memorable night that we will not soon forget!
Thank you to LLS and Bryce Harper for making it happen! 


K said...

Sounds like an amazing experience!

shannon said...

What an amazing night! Thanks for sharing!

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