Stephen Chase, 16, and his family enjoyed an amazing day at Progressive Field with the Cleveland Indians even before the first pitch was thrown for their game against the Minnesota Twins. Stephen and his family were treated to an on-the-field, VIP experience from Major League Baseball umpires courtesy of the Casey Cares Foundation and UMPS Care Charities.
Stephen, of Middlefield, Ohio, is battling a brain tumor and is being treated at the Cleveland Clinic. He is a huge Indians fan who was 5 when he started going to watch the Tribe with his grandfather.
Stephen was experiencing headaches and was diagnosed with a brain tumor in January, three days after his 16th birthday. He underwent back-to-back surgeries and is in the midst of chemo and radiation treatments. One thing that has kept his spirits high throughout his medical treatments has been watching the Indians. Shortly after a 30-day round of treatment, he and his grandfather went to a game.
“He is a lifelong fan of the Indians,” said Stephen’s mom, Jennifer. “The Indians are what have helped him get through this. 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.”
In addition to his grandfather, Stephen will be joined by his grandmother, mom, dad and a friend.
Imagine how happy they were to be on the field and to meet Indians manager Terry Francona! WEWS, the ABC affiliate in Cleveland, interveiwed the family before the game. Check out this inspirational story here
The Casey Cares Foundation, which will provide thousands of uplifting and ongoing programs families with critically ill children to nearly 900 families this year alone, recently expanded into the Buckeye State. Casey Cares serves families in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey in addition to Washington, D.C.
UMPS CARE is the official non-profit of the Major League Baseball Umpires. The umpiring crew has brought a lot of joy to young baseball fans and their families by providing behind-the-scenes tours at various ballparks around the country.
This season, Casey Cares and UMPS Care have teamed up to provide these experiences to families with critically ill children in Cleveland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
“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.”