Indians give critically ill teen once in a lifetime experience

Posted at 7:22 AM, Jun 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-26 08:17:34-04

Stephen Chase has been a Cleveland Indians fan for as long as he can remember. 

"I went to the first game with my grandfather when I was 5 years old and since then I go every summer," said Chase.

But this summer has been challenging for Chase and his family. Just three days after his sixteenth birthday he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He has had two surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. His family said that one thing that has kept his spirits high throughout the medical treatments has been watching the Indians. 

"He is a lifelong fan of the Indians," said Stephen's mom, Jennifer Chase. 

"The Indians are what have helped him get through this," Stephen's mother said. "He and his grandfather went to the game on April 14th, Good Friday. He is a sports fanatic, and he is so excited to go to this game and have this experience with his grandfather."

On Sunday, Chase and his family got a behind the scenes tour of Progressive Field before the game against the Minnesota Twins. 

In addition to his grandfather, Stephen will be joined by his grandmother, mom, dad and a friend. 

The Casey Cares Foundation teamed up the Cleveland Indians and UMPS CARE to give Chase and his family the once in a lifetime opportunity to see his favorite team. 

"We just try to give them a chance to come to the ballpark and get their mind off the sickness they have," said MLB Umpire David Rackley.

"These are the little moments and lasting memories we try to create for our families throughout the year," said Casey Baynes, Casey Cares Founder and Executive Director. 

"Stephen and his family are going to remember this experience for a long time, and the best part is for a few hours, the last thing that will be on their minds are doctors' visits and hospital stays," Baynes said.