Wish Child Justin reflects on his wish to meet the San Francisco Giants and his journey since his diagnosis.
Each summer, my family and I take a trip to a different baseball stadium. So when I was approached by the social worker at my clinic and she said The Rainbow Connection would grant my wish, I immediately thought of the team whose hat is on my head 100% of the time: the San Francisco Giants.
Getting to meet the San Francisco Giants was a once in a lifetime experience and a memory that I will never forget. The whole trip was so exciting just to be out in California and see all the sights there. Not only did I get to do and see amazing things around the city such as the Golden Gate bridge, Alcatraz, and a cable car ride, but I got to see two different ballparks when we went to an Oakland A’s game in addition to a Giants game. The Giants organization gave me a tour of the stadium, let me stand on the field for batting practice, and gave me an opportunity to meet and spend time with four Giants players which was the best part of the whole trip! It was a very pleasant surprise that all the players mentioned they were expecting me and held conversations with my family and I before the game.
I cannot thank The Rainbow Connection and Giants organization enough for sending me out to California which lead to me spending an amazing week with my family. I was surprised by how even the smallest detail was taken into account and I am forever grateful for The Rainbow Connection and those individuals that planned this amazing trip for me.
Cancer makes you appreciate the small things. The small encounters with friends, the thought and time people put into things, and people going out of their way to do something nice for you. Before my diagnosis, I valued things a lot differently. I was more materialistic and always wanted what was in style regardless of if it was useful.
Now, I appreciate the small things that I hadn’t even noticed before this journey. There was a day where my family surprised me with t-shirts reading “Spartan Strong” on the front and “Justin Strong” on the back. The amount of hope I felt as my whole family came into my hospital room wearing those shirts and chanting my name was unreal. Almost everyone associates cancer with darkness. However, if there is one thing that my journey with cancer has taught me, it’s that sometimes the worst case scenario can actually bring out the best in life.