McCool Junction, NE — You know the names: Brett Favre or Aaron Rogers and they’re known for being the only NFL team owned by their fans. Now there’s another name on the Packers roster, a Nebraska teen whose wish came true at Lambeau Field.
You could say Caleb Friesner is part of the team. Holding his custom made Green Bay Packers Jersey, Friesner pointed at the stitching and said, “Their seamstress actually seamed this on, sewed this on.”
Caleb’s jersey had been hanging in his own locker and there was a game ball with his name Thanks to the “Kids Wish Network” the 16-year old’s dream to meet the Green Bay Packers came true. Caleb was granted full VIP access during his visit. He said, “At the end of practice I got to break the huddle so I got to say 1-2-3 go Pack.”
Caleb met his idols including NFL’s MVP Aaron Rogers and Linebacker Clay Matthews. Matthews sat next to Caleb for quite a while to talk about “guy stuff”. “He was actually pretty cool. I actually thought he would be all stubborn and what not, but he’s just like one of my friends,” said the star-struck teen.
The McCool Junction teen is an avid fan of football, he even played for several years before being sidelined and diagnosed with a rare and sometimes debilitating disease known as “Evans Disease”. Caleb had just started two-a days for football and kept coming home with deep bruises. His mother, Mindy Friesner immediately began to worry when they wouldn’t go away. “They started getting deeper and they started getting more and more and he had gotten stepped on one day at practice and he actually had a size 12 cleat mark on his leg,” Friesner recalled.
Doctors at The Nebraska Medical Center diagnosed him with Evans Syndrome. The disease prevents his blood from clotting – meaning even a simple injury from being tackled on the field could be deadly. His father Mike explained just how dangerous a small injury could be. “He could actually hurt something inside and he could actually he could have bled out internally and no body would have known,” Mike explained.
Kids Wish Network grants “wishes” to children who suffer life-threatening illnesses. The non-profit organization sent the whole Friesner family to Green Bay. Mike said the whole experience was magical for his son, “I’m not a Green Bay Packers fan but now I am because what they did for my son and that was something special that no body else could give him.”
While Caleb battles what doctors say is an “incurable disease”, He’s positive about his future and his Green Bay Packers. His prediction, “Well usually they don’t do so hot in the pre-season because they don’t have Rogers playing the whole game, but I think they’re doing to do real good. I think they’re going to go to the super bowl and win it.”
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