“We stick together,” said Brydon of his twin brother, Jake.
Twelve-year-old Jake has intractable epilepsy and a neurological condition that has left him with limited use of his right arm. He’s faced more than his share of challenges, always with his brother by his side.
So when Brydon first heard about Make-A-Wish®, he made a selfless act of brotherly love and referred his twin in the hopes that Jake would get, “something awesome.”
“I thought about Jake and how much he’s been through,” said Brydon. “He’s gone through a lot … I think he deserves it. He’s worked hard.”
Little did Brydon know that his letter to Make-A-Wish would lead his family to Safeco Field on a sunny afternoon in April. Or that Jake would take the field in front of a sold out crowd.
Make-A-Wish selected Jake to christen the Mariners 2015 season with the inaugural run around the bases. Jake was the perfect choice for this unique opportunity since he is a baseball enthusiast. Despite his physical challenges, he is a pitcher and first baseman for his Little League team. His love of the sport motivates him to join his teammates on the field. And he hasn’t let his medical condition slow him down.
So on Opening Day, Jake stepped up to the plate. More than 45,000 cheering fans rose to their feet. And Jake ran. He rounded first, touched second.
As he rounded third, Jake lifted his hat in a stunning symbol of gratitude and perseverance.
The audience roared.
When Jake hit the home stretch, he saw three of his favorite players – Dustin Ackley, Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager – waving him in; ready with high-fives.
Every year since 1999, a local wish kid from Make-A-Wish® Alaska and Washington has helped to kick off the new baseball season. While the chalk lines are still pristine and unscuffed, the bases untouched, these courageous kids have the honor to be the first of the season to make the 90-foot journey in front of a stadium of cheering fans
For Jake and Brydon, it’s a day they’ll never forget. And, they are looking forward to making more memories together on Jake’s wish trip later this year.
If you know a child who may be eligible for a wish, contact us via our online referral form.
Special thanks to the Seattle Mariners for giving Jake and Brydon an unforgettable experience.