A 7-year-old boy recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer was given the chance of a lifetime before an MLB game on Saturday.
Beau Dowling, who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma as a toddler and treated in subsequent years, was able to handle players and throw the first pitch in a game between the Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles on Chicago’s Guaranteed Rate field.
According to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, neuroblastoma is described as a “very rare” cancerous tumor that affects 7-10% of pediatric cancer patients, with 800 new cases occurring each year.
Dowling has undergone a number of treatments during his life and underwent surgery in early June following his thyroid cancer diagnosis, MLB.com reported.
On Saturday, Downling was able to fulfill every baseball fan’s dream when he swung his bat to the plate and ran the bases on the White Sox’s home field.
The boy got high-fives from both the White Sox and Orioles teams as he rounded the bases home.
Dowling, who was joined by family members on the field, was also greeted by Orioles first baseman and colon cancer survivor Trey Mancini, according to MLB.com.
Dowling’s father, Jim, said the player encouraged his son to “keep fighting” and that the encounter was emotional to hear.
“I wanted to go there after he ran the bases and just tell him he was great,” said Mancini.
“I told him I had cancer two years ago and I’m fine now. And I know the same will happen to him. I just wanted him to know.”