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'It’s kinda surreal': Chiefs Kingdom grants wish of Vermont teen with life-threatening illness

Donates tickets, jerseys, parking and over $3,500
Posted at 5:51 PM, Nov 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-08 00:17:51-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There is no better fan base than Chiefs Kingdom. Not only do fans show up for their team and each other, but also for out-of-towners who are visiting Kansas City.

Members of one of the largest open tailgates at Arrowhead rallied behind a 17-year-old from Vermont this week and granted his wish of attending Sunday afternoon’s Chiefs game against the Green Bay Packers.

Brayden Baker was visiting Kansas City with his dad, Keith Baker, through an organization called Hunt of a Lifetime Foundation, Inc. It provides dream hunting trips for kids with life-threatening illnesses.

Brayden lives with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, or CMT, a progressive disease that affects the nerves.

“When we got here, he says, ‘Well, if I get my deer in the first couple of days, could we go to the game on Sunday?’” Keith said.

Tiffany Null with Hunt of a Lifetime Foundation, Inc. overheard Brayden’s request. She took to social media not knowing what would happen next.

“I was sitting there, and I thought, ‘Well, what the heck?' So I put a post out on the LOT J ticket page to see if anybody wasn’t going to use their tickets that day if they would so kindly donate them to him and his dad,” Null said. “Wow, the community did not disappoint.”

In less than 48 hours, donations came pouring in. Tickets to the game, a parking space, jerseys and over $3,500 of spending money.

“I was completely surprised, I couldn't believe it,” Brayden said. “For all these people I don’t even know to come around and help me out and get me an experience like this — it’s kinda surreal.”

LOT J is home to one of the largest open tailgates for the Chiefs. They have over 10,000 members across the country on their Facebook page. Joshua Wahba, a spokesperson for the tailgate, says this was something they knew they had to get behind.

“It was something that we knew immediately, ‘Hey look, we have the community that we can pull this together,'" Wahba said. “Chiefs are known to have the best fanbase in the NFL, and this is a prime example of what the fandom can do.”

Brayden and Keith have always bonded over sports and hunting. They say it has been the perfect weekend.

“Boy, I tell you what. Talk about leaving an impression in our hearts,” Keith said.