KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Before the UT game on Saturday, some East Tennessee children and their families were able to take part in all the fun. One non-profit called Special Spectators partnered with UT and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital to give patients the VIP treatment.
“[I’m a] huge UT fan,” said Brady Fine.
Brady has lived in Tennessee his whole life. The 14-year-old said he’s been to a few games before but hasn’t had this type of experience.
“This game is special because I get to be a special guest. I get to go out on the field.”
Along with being a Vol fan, Brady is also a patient at East Tennesse Children’s Hospital.
“I have a medical condition that causes me to not be able to build fat on my body or on my bones,” Brady explained.
“Basically I have to do like a shot every day and stuff like that. they’ve been studying it for years now since I was like eight years old. So it’s been a very long journey.”
His mom, Jessie Keep, said through their long journey, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital has been there every step of the way,
“We were with the best people that we could have ever been with at Children’s. So they’ve been able to walk us through it and support Brady. He’s been able to do a lot of amazing things with them.”
Some of those activities include being a special guest at the UT game Saturday thanks to Children’s and Special Spectators.
“Special Spectators create VIP all-access game-day experiences for seriously ill children and their families,” said Blake Rockwell, Founder and Executive Director.
He adds, “many times we hear from the families how it might be the first time they’ve seen their kids smiling since they got their diagnosis.”
From seeing these kids grinning ear to ear at the Vol Walk to getting to be on the field at Neyland Stadium, this experience gives families a break from the everyday struggle and allows kids to just be kids.
“He is full of life, he is always wanting to try something new, and do something different and adventurous,” said Jessie Keep about her son Brady.
For a UT fan like Brady, being on the field with the players at Neyland was a dream come true.
“Just getting to meet a player is amazing,” he said.