by: Heather Hegedus, Fox25Boston.com Updated:
The opportunity to go to a Super Bowl seemed out of reach, but thanks to an unlikely donor, a Beverly, Massachusetts, man and his wife are going.
The trip is coming at a challenging time for the couple. New England Patriots fan Jeremy Smallwood has stage 4 lung cancer.
"To be able to take all of this stuff we're going through and actually make it positive," Smallwood explained. "It's really nice."
He said he's cherishing the opportunity to see smiles on his loved ones faces, instead of anguish.
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"When we first came in here, we were very not good. I mean, it was a bad situation," he said. "Especially when you hear 'stage 4.'"
He said he nearly died at the beginning of his treatment.
"I went through anaphylactic shock," he said.
He recently participated in a Lung Cancer Survivors Super Bowl Challenge with The Chris Draft Family Foundation. The contest raises money for lung cancer public awareness and research. Draft, a former NFL linebacker who played with the Atlanta Falcons, started the foundation after his own wife died from lung cancer.
"We've been able to send a message to cancer and send a message from a group that knows about winning," he said.
Smallwood, his family and the team at Lahey Medical Center in Peabody, where he's being treated, raised $15,000 -- enough to win Smallwood and his wife a trip to the Super Bowl to see their beloved Patriots play.
They got to hold the tickets in their hands Tuesday.
Smallwood's team of doctors and nurses at Lahey also surprised him with some spending money for the trip.
Smallwood is originally from Texas, so he's excited to go back and show his wife around.
Eighty percent of the money Smallwood and his team raised will go back to the Lahey clinic in a fund in his name.
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