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Ziggy
08-24-2008, 07:37 PM
I work as a paramedic for an ambulance company in Colorado Springs. One of the PR programs we have is a community service called Sentimental Journeys. It's very much akin to the Make-A-Wish program, but on a more local level. While at work on Tuesday, I received a page stating that the company needed someone for a sentimental journey to the Broncos vs. Packers game. I immediately got on the phone to find out what the story was. Turns out, a 31 year old Bronco fanatic was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and wanted to see one last Bronco game in person. I immediately knew that it was something I wanted, and more importantly, needed to do.

For privacy reasons, we'll refer to my patient as Dave. My partner and I arrived at Dave's house at about 4pm. We were greeted in the driveway by his best friend. Inside, we met Dave, his father, and his mother. Now it's hard to explain with words, but most of you will know what I'm talking about. There are times in life when you meet a person or group of people, and even though you've never met, you 'just know' that these are good people. This was one of those times.

Dave walked out to the ambulance, and it was obvious to see the he was exhausted just by the short walk to the driveway. His best friend, myself, and Dave rode in the back, and Dad was up front with my partner. On the way Dave and his best friend mostly talked, about the Broncos, other sports, and life in general. About a half hour away from the stadium, he talked to me about his condition. He originally was diagnosed with lung cancer, which has now spread to his brain, lymph nodes, liver, and kidneys. Because of the cancer in his brain, his eyesight is very poor and fading fast. He originally responded well to the chemo treatments, (9 hours of chemo, in one day, which took about 2 and a half weeks to recover from) but then the cancer spread quickly. Although he has been diagnosed as being terminal, he explained to me that he is a fighter, and will continue to fight.

We arrived at the stadium at around 6pm. We got Dave settled into the weelchair and headed to will call to pick up our tickets. I snapped a few pictures of the three of them out front of the stadium and we headed in. The seats that hospice had arranged were great. We were in the south stands in the wheelchair section, which is just one section up from the field. This is where the transformation began. The minute we headed into the stands and got a glimpse of the field, Dave was like a kid in a candy store. I could almost feel the energy return to him. His best friend went off to get hot dogs and cokes, and we settled in.

Gametime! If you've ever been to a Bronco game in person, as a Bronco fanatic, then you've felt the electricity in the air. My emotions were mixed, wondering what it would be like if it were my last Bronco game live. If Dave had any such thoughts, he didn't show them. He cheered every good play the Broncos made with abandon. Of all of the Broncos scores, I believe all but the first field goal were at our end of the field.

I found myself watching Dave more than I did the game. He truly embodied the spirit of not only Bronco fans, but the spirit of life itself. It seemed as if while the game was being played in front of him, everything else was lost. He wasn't thinking about chemo treatments, the wheelchair that he was sitting in, or even his impending mortality. At the snap of the ball, there were no thoughts of the pain that the dilaudid pump or oxycotton pills could never seem to take away. There was only football. Anticipation of what might happen in that very moment. When the Broncos scored touchdowns, he rose from his wheelchair with hands raised high, and fists pumping in the air. The oxygen tubing around his ears and nose were lost in that moment in time, along with everything else. Everything that is, but the joy of the moment.

I have run 911 calls for 8 years now. I've performed medical procedures on dying children and adults alike. Some have lived to see another day and some have not. I have never however, had a more gratifying call than the one I did with Dave. I didn't give any medications. I didn't perform any potentially lifesaving procedures. All I did was take a man to a game. Oh, and for those of you who don't know who won Friday night, let me tell you... We all did.

BeefStew25
08-24-2008, 07:39 PM
Awesome story Ziggy.

yardog
08-24-2008, 07:43 PM
:salute:

Ziggy
08-24-2008, 07:46 PM
I just wanted to add that the Broncos personell were wonderful. They brought him a couple of game day programs, and a few other things. They also had tried to get him into the locker room after the game, but they weren't allowing those things Friday because they had to immediately start setting up for the democratic national convention. When I told Dave that, his respose was, "Well I'm definitely voting Republican now!" It was hilarious.

BeefStew25
08-24-2008, 07:48 PM
I just wanted to add that the Broncos personell were wonderful. They brought him a couple of game day programs, and a few other things. They also had tried to get him into the locker room after the game, but they weren't allowing those things Friday because they had to immediately start setting up for the democratic national convention. When I told Dave that, his respose was, "Well I'm definitely voting Republican now!" It was hilarious.

Dave is a good man.

Hobe
08-24-2008, 07:49 PM
:2thumbs:

WOW! Thanks for sharing!

frauschieze
08-24-2008, 09:15 PM
Heartwarming story, Ziggy. Thank you so much for sharing.

Denver Native (Carol)
08-24-2008, 11:22 PM
Ziggy - Thanks for sharing this wonderful story, and you deserve a BIG :salute:

LordTrychon
08-25-2008, 02:40 AM
I would be lying if I said my eyes didn't well up just a little bit...

:salute:

Superchop 7
08-26-2008, 02:18 AM
Tears..........

Most players play for their teamate....

FYI......On that day they played for Dave.

dogfish
08-29-2008, 05:00 PM
good stuff ziggy!

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