Fans of the Cleveland Browns recently came together to allow a lifelong fan of the team to see them play just one more time.
Tom Seipel is a husband, father, pastor, and missionary who has valiantly been fighting kidney cancer the past three years. Sadly, he was placed in hospice a few weeks ago, and he recently took to the Browns Reddit community page to write, “Thanks for the memories and fun.” Tom went on to explain that he has stage 4 cancer, and that doctors have given him one or two weeks to live.
“I was hoping to finish the season but oh well. Best season I’ve seen since the mid 80s. I always wanted a Super Bowl before I died. Hope you guys get to see one. I’ll be rooting from up above,” Tom wrote in the post.
The post immediately went viral, and Browns fans knew they had to do something for him. They quickly rallied to raise $20,000 to fly Tom and his father from Georgia to Cleveland so that they could watch the Browns take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in the final game of the season.
When Emily Mayfield, the wife of Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, heard about this, she offered Tom and his dad her suite tickets so that they wouldn’t have to watch the game in the cold. Baker himself even sent Tom a video on Christmas Eve telling him how inspiring he was.
“Hey, Tom, Baker Mayfield here,” the quarterback said. “Was just reading up on your story. You’re extremely inspirational, man, you’re a warrior. Just want to say, keep fighting, appreciate your support and we’ll see what happens when we get into the playoffs. We’ll see if we can make those dreams come true, bud. We’ll be praying for you man, hang in there. Go Browns.”
Tom arrived at FirstEnergy Stadium to watch the game on January 3.
“This is the greatest day. Cant thank @emilywmayfield enough for giving this man the experience of a lifetime. And also the rest of you. Seriously. Tom is so overwhelmed with joy and support, it’s unreal,” the Angry Browns Fans Instagram page wrote on social media.
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The Cleveland Browns ended up beating the Steelers 24-22, meaning they have made the playoffs for the first time since 2002. Tom is hoping that he will get to see them play another game.