For These Deserving Fans, the Super Bowl Gets Crossed Off the Bucket List
AN UNDERDOG TALE—JUST LIKE ROCKY
Three weeks before Wayne Baird planned to fly to Minneapolis to fulfill a lifelong dream, he was on his knees in the family room of his Newark, Del., home, about an hour south of Philadelphia, with his Eagles shirt on, surrounded by family members in matching jerseys. And he was praying.
It was January 13, nearly a year after Baird had been diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma, a rare form of cancer, and given two to four months to live. Baird started five rounds of chemotherapy last March, but the mantle cell kept coming back. Two days before he was set to receive a stem cell transplant from one his daughters— doctors told him the treatment might provide his best shot at a cure— the cancer showed up in his skin. So Wayne went back to chemotherapy. Then, right when he was set for another stem cell transplant, the cancer returned in his spinal fluid. That ended Wayne’s hopes for stem cell. Now it’s chemo every day, lumbar punctures into his spine every month, and the hopes of an experimental drug being efficacious. In November, his oncologist updated his life expectancy to four to six months.
But that’s not why Wayne was praying.