KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It didn't matter that he lived more than 1,700 miles away from Arrowhead Stadium, Felipe Lopez loved the Kansas City Chiefs.
“He had always supported the Chiefs,” his stepson Steve Vargas told 41 Action News. “He loved the Chiefs through the thick and thin.”
It was hard putting our story together for tonight at 10. On one hand, I am so happy Felipe was able to live out his dream and attend a @Chiefs at Arrowhead. On the other hand, my heart breaks for his family who want him back home. @41actionnewspic.twitter.com/EMkKEJZqd9
And it was the Chiefs that gave Felipe something to look forward to, too.
This year, the 56-year-old was diagnosed with liver cancer. His doctors had given him less than six months to live and Felipe had one dream— attend a game at Arrowhead Stadium and watch his favorite team play.
“It was something as a family we tried our best to make happen,” said Vargas. “When the actual word was given to us that it was going to happen, I hadn’t seen him happier.”
Last week, Dream Foundation made Felipe’s dream come true. For the first time, he boarded a plane and arrived at Arrowhead Stadium Saturday night. Steve was with him the entire time.
“Getting to Arrowhead was a sight amongst itself,” he said. "When we were on the field before the game, Alex Smith pointed to us. He was just so happy. He had the biggest smile on his face and that made his trip.”
But the next morning, after watching his Chiefs dominate the Los Angeles Charges, Felipe passed away in the hotel room.
Now, his family is facing a reality they weren't quite prepared for.
“I’m the one that went with him over there. It’s pretty hard not to come back with him,” said Steve.
For months they have been saving, preparing for Felipe to pass away in California — never expecting for this to happen in Missouri, especially this last trip. And now, the family is struggling financially with how to bring Felipe home.
“He’s over there and we’re over here and we’re just looking for closure. It’s so hard, it’s so hard. And closure won’t happen,” said Steve.
The family has raised enough money to cover the funeral home expenses but they’re still about $1,000 shy to fly his body back to California. To help, they’ve started a GoFundMePage.