When he was five, Sam discovered former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher and became a big fan of the Chicago Bears.
For this 15-year-old from Springfield, MA, diagnosed with a rare and life-threatening autoimmune disorder at three years old, his love of the Bears helped make the frequent 90-minute hospital trips to Boston for treatment more tolerable. It became a part of his identity, including decorating his room with Bears logos on his pillows and comforter.
Sam recently got his wish to travel to Chicago with his family to meet his long-time idol. They visited Halas Hall and watched practice, meeting several players including Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack. The next day, Sam met Brian Urlacher on the sideline at Soldier Field before the Bears game. Urlacher, who was in town as the Bears celebrated defining players for each decade, was pleasantly surprised to meet Sam, such a loyal, long-distance fan.
Sam's mother, Cathy, shared, "Sam has, unfortunately, had to grow up in doctors’ offices and hospitals. To be able to experience something like this was unbelievable for him because he had such a rough childhood. We were overwhelmed with what the Chicago Bears did for him and we are so grateful for everything Make-A-Wish did to put this together.” Sam has recently gone into remission and his health is monitored regularly. As he works to stay healthy and moves forward, Sam will carry memories from his wish with him to keep him focused on the future and all the possibilities it holds.
Photo courtesy of the Chicago Bears.