Christian Ramos’ Front Row Experience: Toronto Raptors game
9 year old Christian Ramos was diagnosed with Relapse Refractory Neuroblastoma, an aggressive cancer, when he was only 2 years old. Despite his incredible challenges Christian has always remained a bright and happy child and an absolute fan of basketball, especially Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors. Christian’s mom, Deborah, always looking to bring extra joy into her son’s life reached out to the Front Row Foundation in hopes of bringing Christian’s dream of seeing Kawhi Leonard play in person to life! And that’s exactly what our community did.
January 3rd was the first time Christian (9) and family had been in a limo and it was taking them on a ride to unforgettable moments! They all rode two hours from their hometown of Laredo, TX to be treated like royalty at the famous Mi Tierra Restaurant in San Antonio. The original owner’s granddaughter even came out to greet us as did many other staff members. Christian felt like a true star. They gave us the best table in the house and adorned it with vibrant colors, tiny pinatas, toys, and more food than we could ever eat in one sitting.
After an amazing authentic Mexican lunch, we took the boys to play at the nearby Milam Park. It turns out that the park was actually across the street from a hospital Christian used to go to for treatment for his Relapse Refractory Neuroblastoma. He always wanted to play in that very park but wasn’t well enough to do so until now. Christian and his brothers, Adrian and Hugo, laughed and zoomed around, working off those tacos and guacamole. Christian’s mom watched on and said it makes her so happy to see Christian be able to play. It broke her heart having to watch him lay in bed for days, too weak to do much else. Watching her son run and shout like all kids should be able to is a miracle to her.
Christian’s mother told us how magical it is to be able to give Christian and all of her boys a special day to focus on fun instead illness. After a tearful talk about Christian’s battle with cancer it was time to lift the mood and open presents for the boys and their parents, Deborah and Hugo Sr.
Christian’s dad was actually a last minute addition to the trip, and so we didn’t originally have a ticket for him to attend the big game, so we had an extra big surprise present for him. Hugo Senior found out he was also joining Deborah and the boys in their courtside seats!!! The boys were thrilled because it was their dad that got them into basketball in the first place. After hugs and cheers we were off to the stadium!
The boys chowed down on Nachos and candy as they got to see amazing giant athletes play just feet away from them. Little Christian barely came up to the players waists. Halfway through the first quarter, Christian got a signed jersey from his favorite player, Kawhi Leonard!! A real highlight of the day!! This enormous gift was all thanks to the good people at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and of course, Kawhi Leonard.
It was a long and fun filled day and time for goodbye hugs. Before they got back into the limo, Deborah said they’d never forget this experience. It was truly one of the best days of their lives.
Christian’s mom recently said “He still talks about the experience to this day.” He’s even wearing his Kawhi jersey to his doctors visits where she just learned his scans are continuing to be stable!
We want to thank everyone in our community that helped make this magical day possible. Especially Christian’s sponsors; Advisors Excel, the McCarthy Family, and the Perez Family.
Check out the longer event day video that we made for Chrisian’s family: