10-year-old battling cancer finally meets his idol Tom Brady

By Giancarlo Mirabella

It was Monday night football and I was getting ready to watch my favourite football team, the New England Patriots, play against the Baltimore Ravens. Before the game, a mini documentary aired on ESPN that told the story of a Patriots fan.

It wasn’t just about any Patriots fan, it was a special one.

Logan Schoenhardt, 10, was diagnosed with a brain tumour when he was three years old. He has been going through treatments and several brain surgeries for over seven years. Logan has continued to remain positive and managed to keep a smile on his face throughout the process.

This 10-year-old boy is as strong as they come.

Logan and I share the same idol: #12 quarterback Tom Brady. What I like most about Tom Brady is when people do not believe in his abilities, that’s when he strives most. He makes it a point to prove people wrong. Whether it was to keep his starting position in college or being passed by every NFL team five times and being drafted in the 6th round of the NFL draft, Brady always finds a way to prove the doubters wrong.

Tom Brady’s work ethic is second to none, as he always strives for greatness in anything that he does. It’s not a coincidence that he will go down as the best quarterback to ever play the game. 

When Logan was asked by a reporter who his favourite NFL quarterback is, his response was: “Its Tom, Tom Brady, I adore him, I’m one of his biggest fans.”

Logan’s eyes glowed as he mentioned his idol’s name. He would watch every Patriots game and in the interview with the ESPN reporter, I noticed several Patriots memorabilia hanging in his room. A true super fan. His sister mentioned that Tom Brady to Logan represents everything that Logan wishes he could be. 

In March of 2016, Logan was preparing to undergo his sixth brain surgery in seven years. Before the doctors began, Logan had a request for the doctor. Logan asked, “Would you engrave Tom Brady’s jersey number 12 on the side of my skull?”

The doctor agreed because after six surgeries, he found that it would not pose any risk and it would help Logan’s morale. After a successful surgery, he was the happiest boy on earth knowing he has the number 12 carved in his head. Within a month, Tom Brady heard of Logan’s story and sent him a personal video encouraging him. He was so happy.

Months later in September, Logan and his family went back to the doctor for a check-up and the doctors noticed the tumor had returned and this time it was different.

They could not help him. They notified the family that there was nothing they could do. His mom told him ,”Honey, the cancer is not going to stop, it’s going to keep coming, you’re going to die, there’s no way we can make it stop.”

He looked at his mom and said,  “I don’t want to die, I’m only 10, I don’t want to go.”

The reporter asked Logan what his message was to his mom and he said, “I’m sorry that you won’t get to see me.”   

My heart broke as I watched this. I actually had to get off my couch and walk over to the fridge because I felt like I needed to move.

As I was walking towards the fridge, I heard them say that this fall Logan wrote a bucket list. Things he most wants to do. Disney, a motorcycle ride and at the top of that list was to go to a New England Patriots game and meet Tom Brady.

As the documentary came to a close, the ESPN camera began showing pictures of Logan and Tom Brady together and then ended with a live shot of Logan sitting in his wheelchair on the New England Patriots sideline waiting for the Monday night football game to begin. 

Logan has taught me something very important and that’s what I would like to share with everyone. Life is short, sometimes way too short.

Some of us spend too much time worrying about things we cannot control and constantly create environments that make us feel unhappy. We rarely think about how fortunate we are to have our health and those close to us healthy, too. That will all change one day, it’s inevitable. It’s the sad part of life and we cannot do anything to avoid it. We all will have close family members and friends that will leave us one day.

So appreciate the time in your life when things are good and the close family and friends around you are healthy. Appreciate this time of year when you get to spend quality time with your loved ones and the family members or friends you don’t get to see that often throughout the year. Embrace the holiday season and understand what it truly means. Appreciate life and all that it has to offer, the love, laughter, and happiness it brings, because it could be all taken away in a second.

The reporter asked Logan one last question before the piece ended: “Does anything scare you about the future?” Logan answered, “It doesn’t, I know that I’m going to go to heaven and I know that I’m going to be happy.”

Logan will enjoy his last days on earth spending quality time with his family and fulfilling many more things on his bucket list. I am so glad he got to meet Tom Brady and now I can say I have two idols that I look up to. Thanks Logan. 

You can donate to Logan’s bucket list by clicking here.

To watch the mini documentary by ESPN click here.

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