PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger made one cancer patient’s day, and even surprised his doctor as well.
Big Ben’s incredible act of kindness was first reported by KAAL-TV in Rochester, Minnesota.
For the past 11 years, Seth Bayles has been going to the Mayo Clinic for specialized treatment as he fights a rare autoimmune disease that is killing his health cells and tissues.
Seth’s mom, Julie, has been taking her son to the Mayo Clinic for the treatment, a trip that is 600 miles.
It was during a trip to the hospital that Seth met a nurse named Patrick Quandt, who had a Steelers tattoo.
“I had an immediate connection as soon as we walked in the room,” Quandt told KAAL.
“Once you’re a Steelers fan, you’re always a Steelers fan,” Seth said.
Quandt introduced Seth to another Steelers fan at the hospital, Dr. John Stulak.
“Steeler Nation is all about family and so when one member of the family is in the hospital, then all of the family members flock,” the cardiac surgeon said.
In fact, Dr. Stulak didn’t want Seth to leave empty handed, so he gave Seth what he thought was a signed football from Ben Roethlisberger.
Turns out the ball was a gift from Dr. Stulak’s brother, but wasn’t actually signed by Big Ben.
The story spread on Facebook, and when it was brought to Ben’s attention, he confirmed it wasn’t his signature.
That’s when Roethlisberger stepped in to help.
On Friday, both Seth, and Dr. Stulak got a surprise video from Big Ben.
“Hey, Seth, Hey Dr Stu, Ben Roethlisberger here, sitting in our practice locker room getting ready to go out for practice. I wanted to shoot you a quick note to say ‘Thank You for being Steelers fans.’ I appreciate your guys’ support. I saw your video online. Dr. Stu, how you gave the football to Seth, I thought that was really, really cool. But something kind of caught me off guard; that the autograph wasn’t mine.
So I just wanted to send you a video just to let you know that I appreciate you guys’ support. And Seth, why don’t you check with your mom? She might have something for you … and you too, Doc. And Doc, thanks for all you do. You’re a true hero. Seth, keep up the good fight brother. Pulling for you, praying for you and thanks for your support. Alright pal, talk to you later.”
After watching the video, both were presented with autographed Ben Roethlisberger footballs.
Dr. Stulak’s said: “Dr. Stulak you are a real hero!”
Seth’s said: “Seth – You are the MAN!”
“This is unbelievable,” Seth said. “It is just awesome! Yeah, I can’t begin to tell you how amazing and cool this is.”
You can follow more about Seth’s journey by checking out his Facebook page here.