Soccer player battling cancer gets Christmas surprise
7:57 PM, Dec 24, 2013
10:10 PM, Dec 24, 2013
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -
It was a top secret plan for Park Hill High School student Nick Hibbeler.
"His parents took his phone, he didn't have internet so he has no way to find out about this. He has no idea what is going on," explained friend and teammate Alec Fiest.
Doctors diagnosed Hibbeler with testicular cancer. It was a major hit to him and his soccer season.
"You can't take soccer away from him," Fiest said. "Even if he's not feeling well, he'll still play. He played a lot of our games this year even battling through cancer."
On Christmas Eve, a group calling themselves the Elves of Christmas Present, along with dozens of friends, family and strangers showed up at the Independence Event Center for the surprise of a lifetime.
It was a chance to play soccer with former Kansas City Wizards players and his team.
"Today he hasn't been able to do anything since his surgery Nov. 20, so this is his first time he's even been allowed to kick the ball. He looked at me like, 'Can I, Mom?' and I said, 'Yeah, go for it,," said Nick's mom Carrie Hibbeler.
And the surprise was a success.
Nick is almost cancer-free, but still has to undergo two more rounds of chemotherapy.