[Reprinted by the DeSean Jackson Foundation, 9/26/13]
Cancer-stricken boy, 3, granted dying wish, by DeSean Jackson’s Mother, to see the Philadelphia Eagles play – days before death – Bryan Maenner
A three-year-old cancer sufferer has passed away – just days after being granted his dying wish of seeing the Philadelphia Eagles play. Bryan Maenner was surrounded by family members as he succumbed to the disease in his home in Philadelphia on Tuesday – 18 months after he was first diagnosed with a rare blood cancer that caused tumors to develop through his body. The little boy, who had a healthy twin brother, had undergone radiation, chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant, but three weeks ago, doctors told his family there was nothing they could do. On learning the devastating news, the family sought to fulfill Bryan’s last wishes – which included having one final Christmas and going to watch the Eagles play at Lincoln Financial Field.
Six days ago, the wish to see the Eagles play came true when he went to see the Eagles home game against the San Diego Charges, NBC10 reported.’We’re out tonight giving him the time of his life,’ said his father, Richard Maenner, at the game. Bryan, his twin brother Brandon and their father scored seats on the 50-yard line after Gayle Jackson, the mother of wide receiver DeSean Jackson, heard about his story. They met at halftime to thank her for the seats and she gave the little boy a high five.
‘He just blessed me, believe it or not,’ Gayle Jackson told NBC. ‘So I’m the one that received the gift this evening. That’s why you live – to be a blessing to someone else.’
At the game, Mr Maenner spoke of how devastated he was to be losing his son.’It is the worst pain a parent would ever go through in their life,’ he said. ‘I have to deal with watching my son die every single day.’Bryan had also asked for one last Christmas and, with the help of friends and strangers on their Facebook group, ‘Tryin for Bryan’, the Maenners arranged gifts and decorations.But the little boy deteriorated so quickly he was not able to celebrate.On Tuesday, a message appeared on the Facebook group announcing the passing of Bryan, who had loved dressing up as superheroes, particularly Spider-Man.
‘I bear witness to a family who pulled together when others thought they might fall apart. ‘On behalf of the family of Brian Maenner I would like to thank you all for your loving acts of kindness and support.
Please keep the family in prayer.’ Richard Maenner told NBC10 that the family is grieving, but trying to take comfort knowing Bryan is no longer suffering.
Mr. Maenner added that funeral arrangements have not yet been set.