Richmond cancer patient’s dream comes true

SAN FRANCISCO — Two hours before he and his teammates would tangle with the formidable Green Bay Packers, linebacker Patrick Willis took a couple minutes to chat with a young Richmond man who also knows something about fighting the good fight.

“You ready to watch some football?” Willis asked 22-year-old Felix Vargas, who has been battling cancer since he was 17.
“Yes,” replied Vargas, who watched pregame warm-ups from a wheelchair along the sideline.

“All right,” Willis said. “Let’s get a picture.”

Vargas, a lifelong 49ers fan, attended Saturday night’s playoff game courtesy of the 49ers and the Santa Barbara-based Dream Foundation, which grants wishes to adults facing life-threatening illnesses. Diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, as a teenager, Vargas also was diagnosed with lung cancer last summer. Recently he has been undergoing treatment every Monday in three-week cycles.

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