SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A former Miami Dolphins player helped surprise a cancer survivor who volunteers at a Southwest Miami-Dade children’s hospital with tickets to this year’s Super Bowl.
Former Dolphins wide receiver Chris Chambers surprised Cristian Aleman with two tickets to the February 2020 game at Hard Rock Stadium.
“It’s still surreal,” Aleman said. “I wake up probably every day like, ‘I’m going to the Super Bowl.'”
Aleman said although a few weeks have passed since the surprise, it has not settled yet.
“Until it happens, I’m just going to be in shock,” he said.
On the day of the surprise, Aleman thought he was showing up for his regular volunteer work to meet with young cancer patients and their families. Instead, he found Chambers waiting for him.
“I’m the guy you’re supposed to meet today,” Chambers said to Aleman.
Aleman, a bone cancer survivor, was first diagnosed at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital when he was 14 years old, and he has been surprised before.
While undergoing treatment, David Beckham stopped at the hospital to sign a ball, so Aleman believed he was getting another from Chambers.
“I see the ball, so I was like, ‘Oh, he’s going to sign a ball. This is going to be so cool,’ and then he flips the ball and says, ‘You’re going to the Super Bowl,’ and I was just like in shock,” Aleman said.
Pediatric Oncologist Maggie Eidson Fader was in the room to witness the moment.
She said there is no one more deserving than Aleman.
“He has been a survivor that doesn’t just survive,” Fader said. “He goes and encourages other children that are going through the same thing he went through and other various kinds of cancer. He’s definitely somebody who has been really fun to watch grow up over the years.”
The doctors at the hospital helped Aleman through nine months of treatment and years of follow-ups.
“I’m just giving back and helping others the way they helped me,” Aleman said.
Aleman added that he has already picked one of his closest friends to go with him on Feb. 2.
When asked what he is looking forward to the most, he said, “Just the atmosphere. If you’ve ever been to a game — a Heat game or a Dolphin game — if we’re winning, the environment is just crazy. I can only imagine how much the Super Bowl is.”
The experience here has changed Aleman’s life in many ways, including his career path. He is studying to be an oncology nurse, and he wants to work at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
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