KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A trip of a lifetime for a young man battling brain cancer. He’s going to watch his favorite team, the Kansas City Chiefs fight to win back-to-back Super Bowl championships.
A player known as “the Shermanator” gifted him the tickets.
“The Shermanator wants to give me tickets!?” Jace Ward said.
“That’s right,” Sportscaster Jay Feely responded. Feely delivered the news via video chat last week.
Chiefs full back Anthony Sherman is sending Jace and his dad to Super Bowl LV.
“I was in such shock my jaw locked up, I couldn’t even speak I was so excited,” Ward said.
A locked jaw is one of the many symptoms and struggles Ward faces.
He’s battling DIPG, a rare brain tumor. Motor skills and senses shut down, but you still can think.
“So basically, you become trapped inside your own body,” Ward said.
The words doctors used to describe this cancer: aggressive, terminal and inoperable.
At 20 years old, Jace was given nine months to live.
He punched back against DIPG now approaching his 22nd birthday.
“Jace said I’m not afraid to die, I know where I’m going, I’m afraid not to have enough time to make an impact before I die,” Ward’s mom Lisa said.
Inspired by the players on his favorite team, Ward hit the ground running to help find a cure.
“Here’s the t-shirt. It says I can’t die, I’m busy,” Ward said.
He’s partnered with Steve Jobs’ son, Reed Jobs, and was the first person in the world to participate in a cutting-edge clinical trial.
So far, so good. Overall, his tumor has shrunk 25%.
“That’s something that you never really see with DIPG,” Ward said.
Without the trial, Lisa said Ward would not be able to get to the Super Bowl.
He lost hearing, some ability to swallow and uses a wheelchair.
Thanks to research, Ward will be arriving in Tampa in style.
Former Chiefs Kicker Lawrence Tynes teamed up with “Wheels Up” and “Live Like Luke” to put him on a private plane.
“I’m going to dress up and make sure I get a photoshoot and everything,” Ward said.
Now, it’s up to the current players to beat Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.
“Go Chiefs,” Ward said, “and let’s sack Tom Brady!”
Ward is a K-Stater and a big fan of fellow wildcat Byron Pringle.
They’ve been exchanging words of encouragement this week on social media.
Ward watched Pringle at K-State and cannot wait to see him in action in Tampa on Sunday.