Jacob, 8, stood behind home plate at Comerica Park and looked on as his favorite team, the Detroit Tigers, warmed up for batting practice in front of him. The crack of the bat rang out as the sun shone down on Jacob and his family.
As he watched batting practice in his personalized Tigers jersey, Jacob saw his name on the scoreboard welcoming him to the ball park. Before he knew it, his favorite player José Iglesias came up to him and signed a few items before inviting him onto the field. Jacob fielded some grounders from Iglesias.
For Jacob, it was a dream come true to throw the ball around with Iglesias, who he admired because they both play shortstop. After they finished, Iglesias went down into the clubhouse and brought out his bat that he signed and gave to Jacob.
“It was wonderful,” Jacob’s mom, Andrea, said. “Last summer was terrible and most of it was spent in the hospital. A year later, he was able to do everything he could before and then got this amazing experience to go on the field and meet the Tigers. I just wanted to cry because I was so happy.”
Jacob, who has lymphoid leukemia, was diagnosed with cancer in February 2014. For Jacob and his family, the first 24 hours that followed were a living nightmare.
“It was just a lot of tears,” Andrea explained. “You hear the word cancer and your mind goes to the worst case. We were expecting another baby at the time, and it was just very hard until we later got a prognosis and better understanding of the type of cancer Jacob had.”
Jacob’s Make-A-Wish® Michigan wish-granting volunteers, Laura and Christine, threw a pizza and ice cream party two days before the family went down to Comerica Park, which really added to Jacob’s wish.
“I don’t think we could ever thank Make-A-Wish enough,” Andrea said. “It is a day he will always remember.”