Mitch Bertram’s Front Row Experience: AC Milan Soccer Match
Name: Mitch Bertram
Illness: Acute Lympoblastic leukemia
Imagine being 20 years young and an athletic soccer player with boundless energy on the field.
And then one day everything changes.
You’re diagnosed with leukemia. And you enter a whole new world in an instant, trading in soccer games for chemotherapy.
This is Mitch Bertram’s story. Described by family and friends as kind and quiet with a good sense of humor, Mitch has held up amazingly well, considering the toll of treatment and change in lifestyle.
Mitch and his family are hopeful that he’ll reach remission so he can receive the bone marrow transplant he needs.
When it came to his Front Row experience, there was no question what this raving soccer fan would want to do! The foundation was ecstatic to score tickets for Mitch and his friends to watch the international Champions Cup—Tottenham Hotspur v. AC Milan!
Once the dates were confirmed and tickets were secured, Mitch’s family was tasked with the fun job of sharing the good news!
Mitch’s parents took him to their favorite family pizza place and hid his note of congratulations under a menu. Tracy, Mitch’s mom, asked him to hand her the special menu and when he picked it up he realized it was something different altogether. A big smile lit up his face as he read the letter! He was so excited to tell his friends and immediately asked how we could start planning the big day!
Mitch’s mom shared that, after going through several TOUGH rounds of chemo, it was absolutely wonderful to have Mitch help plan his big day instead of planning his next chemo appointment.
His uncle made the beautiful banner that Mitch got to hang above his hospital bed to keep his spirits up and remind him of the exciting game ahead.
Mitch’s special weekend kicked off with a FUN start! Mitch and friends met up at the Great Wolf Lodge (a hotel with an indoor water park!), and the Lodge gave us a phenomenal deal on a normally much pricier suite. They threw in meal vouchers, as well as waived the water park fees. Thank you, Great Wolf Lodge. The guys had a blast at the water park and arcade—playing and making the most of their time together.
The next day Helen chatted with Mitch and his mom, Tracy, about their journey over the past many months. Thanks to the Moment Maker’s Club and its letter writing campaign, we were able to give Mitch a box full of letters—overflowing with encouragement, love, and support to read and return to during difficult times. Tracy read a few of the letters out loud.
Next up, dinner at seafood restaurant, Oceanaire—handpicked by Mitch himself! But of course, we had to travel in style. A stretch sprinter van arrived to take the crew downtown. Mitch had a great time hooking up his phone to the car and playing DJ for his friends.
When we rolled up, the restaurant had a little surprise. Someone had tipped them off that Mitch loves to cook and hopes to be a chef one day. They invited him back into the kitchen to join the head chef in making a specialty dish for his friends and the Front Row team. Mitch later shared that this was definitely one of the highlights of the night. \o/
After dinner, it was game time! The stadium was INCREDIBLE. Everyone was in awe. And the seats were amazing too!
Bryan Hurlman, one of the sponsors of the event and co-host was cheering the teams on with Mitch and his pals. While they were engrossed in the match, Helen snuck off with Mitch’s banner (the one his uncle made)… and was lucky to end up getting signatures from both teams on the banner. #frontrowmoment
With more serious treatment right around the corner, Mitch will likely not be physically able to do anything like his event for a while, so the timing was perfect. This day will give him something positive to remember during the tougher times ahead.
In the end, Tottenham won the game, which was fine with Mitch as he was a big fan of both teams! Everyone left the field happy after what was a dream experience. Mitch and friends shared that they had the “absolute BEST day.” You could feel the gratitude.
This is why we do what we do. Thanks to Bryan Hurlman and our Cutco and Vector supporters. These moments mean so much to Mitch and people like him who have gone through some of their darkest days. These front row moments give the gift of hope, presence, and celebration.