9-year-old boy who had 3 heart surgeries granted wish to be reporter during Browns training camp

Posted: 4:34 PM, Aug 01, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-01 16:34:40-04
CJ a special wish

The Browns had a new reporter on the beat during Thursday’s training camp — 9-year-old CJ DeJohn had his wish to be a Browns reporter granted by A Special Wish and Browns Give Back.

CJ, who has had three open-heart surgeries, was credentialed as a media member to be a special Jr. reporter for during the training camp session.

During the practice, CJ took notes and then wrapped up his “workday” by conducting interviews with players and staff, including T.J. Carrie, who had open-heart surgery himself when he was 15 years old, and Head Coach Freddie Kitchens, who might be CJ’s biggest fan.

Cj and T.J. Carrie

During the press conference, CJ asked Kitchens how he keeps the team so organized.

“Well, CJ, there’s a lot of planning that goes into that and hopefully that's why you have a good staff so you can tell them exactly what you want and then they have the same vision that you have and then we go out and do it,” Kitchens answered.

Kitchens then taught CJ the ins and outs of how the practice sessions run how the staff plans out each day of training camp.

Browns a special wish CJ

After asking his question, CJ became the star, getting interviewed by Kitchens.

Kitchens asked CJ an array of questions, including if he has a dog, which sparked an adorable back-and-forth between the two.

“What’s your dog’s name?” Kitchens asked.

“Mickey,” CJ responded.

“How old’s Mickey?” Kitchens asked.

Freddie Kitchens

“He’s 80,” CJ said.

“80, in dog years? Wow. What does that make him, like 7 probably?” Kitchens asked while the room chuckled.

“No, 11,” CJ answered back quickly.


After an in-depth grilling session, Kitchens thanked CJ for coming to training camp and welcomed him back anytime.

Following the press conference, CJ and Kitchens posed for pictures and CJ was kind enough to sign an autograph for the Browns head coach.

A Special Wish Cleveland Chapter is a local foundation that grants the wishes of Cleveland-based children, giving them unforgettable moments like CJ’s day at Browns training camp.

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