Cardinals roll out the red carpet for special Heartland fan - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Cardinals roll out the red carpet for special Heartland fan

St Louis, MO (KFVS) -

When the charity, 18 fore life heard about 10 year old Brendan Wallis, a little boy fighting terminal cancer, Chairman Scott Kruse says he couldn't help but reach out.

"You can't help but love Brendan," said Kruse. "We want to make him feel good but he ends up making us feel good."

Brendan was first diagnosed in 2004. He spent several years in remission, but his family learned in May his cancer had returned.

"Good days are so important for him," said his mother Samantha Bartlett.

18 fore life supports families in Southeast Missouri fighting cancer. For Brendan they wanted to send him to see his favorite team, the St. Louis Cardinals.

So with the help of students at Lilbourn Elementary they engineered a coloring contest with a special grand prize winner: Brendan, of course. The subject of the picture, Fredbird naturally. The reward: a trip in a limo for Brendan and his family to Busch Stadium. Whisked away, during school hours for an experience to cherish.

"That limo," said Bartlett. "He loved the limo. That was cool all by itself!"

But the day only got better. Former player turned coach John Mabry met them at the stadium and introduced them to some of his best friends.

During batting practice Brendan got autographs and high fives from players like Carlos Beltran, Matt Holliday, and Manager Mike Matheny. The list goes on. Players from the Washington Nationals even came over to say hello and give Brendan a baseball or two.

"He is on top of the world right now," said Bartlett.

With Mabry taking little Brendan by the hand, the pair went into the batting cages and a trip inside the clubhouse for Brendan only. No cameras allowed, not even mom.

"That's a special moment watching him walk away with your child," said Bartlett. "Everyone is so wonderful. It's really special."

"We want to give back," said Mabry. "We want to make him feel like a big leaguer today."

After a lap around the field in the cart with Fredbird, Brendan and his family were off to special seats to enjoy the game.

"We just want to say thank you," said Bartlett. "It reminds you there's still so much good in the world."

18 fore life has about 75 active volunteers. They made Brendan's day possible with the help of the Bank of Advance, Glenn Campbell of Lids hat company, and John Mabry of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Copyright 2012 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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