When someone as important as Brendon Shadle makes a request, the Cleveland Browns make it happen.
Shadle, a fourth-grader at Vermillion Elementary School, is headed to Boston this week for his third open-heart surgery, and his eighth heart surgery all together. After one of the heart surgeries as an infant, Brendon died four different times on the operating table.
Weeks ago, Shadle cooked up a wish that he could meet members of his favorite NFL team. On Tuesday, he did just that.
Shadle and his family mingled with Browns' players before practice, received autographed footballs and took pictures in the locker room. Brendon even had the opportunity to pose for his very own press conference in the team's media room. Brendon watches the Browns each and every Sunday and was in awe standing next to some of his heroes.
"They brought me a real football to keep, one that they use on the field," beamed Brendon about meeting the Browns players.
But Brendon is fighter. Doctors once told his family if he walked, he wouldn't be able to talk; or if he talked, he wouldn't be able to walk. Today, Brendon is just like the rest of his peers.
"It's so nice because this Browns visit is taking his mind off the surgery," said Shadle's mom, Melody. "It's a dream come true for Brendon. We couldn't have asked for anything better."
Shadle's classmates are even rallying together on Tuesday to support their friend. At the end of school, students and teachers have organized a "victory walk" for Brendon. Kids will line the hallways and the marching band will be playing to cheer on Brendon before his surgery.
And all of this will be a surprise.
"We have been so lucky," said Melody Shadle. "That's why our family has positive thoughts about this upcoming surgery. Everyone out there in our community is supporting and praying for him."