PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Hanging on the sideline with your favorite team during a big game is the kind of thing every football fan dreams about. It’s the kind one 13-year-old South Jersey boy found a way to make happen at Sunday’s Eagles game.
Cole Fitzgerald not only got the chance to hang with the Eagles sideline during the game, but it was a weekend adventure.
“It’s very touching Cole being around us, sharing his story, having him here is very touching,” said Greg Delimitros, the Eagles equipment manager.
Cole has battled neuroblastoma since he was 3 years old and found a way to beat it. Before he was born, doctors told his mother he wouldn’t survive birth, but Cole found a way.
So just last year, when Cole told his dad, Bill Fitzgerald, he dreamed of being in the NFL one day, but realized with the muscle disorder he was born with he could never be a player, his dad reminded him to do what he always does: find another way.
“We explained to him that there are so many other roles,” said Fitzgerald. “Once we explained to him that there are other roles, it was like a light bulb went off.”
Then Cole read an article about Delimitros.
“When I was back in high school I could never play football. I didn’t want to get hurt. I took to being the equipment manager on my high school team,” said Delimitros.
Cole realized Greg was a blueprint and was inspired to have his Washington Township Junior High School football team create an equipment manager position for him.
When the Eagles saw his story on Eyewitness News, they decided to hire Cole as the team’s equipment manager for the weekend.
On Saturday, the start of being Greg was gearing up—from head to toe– in all Eagles swag.
He got a tour of the Novacare Complex to get familiar with how the Eagles run their operation, and then setup the field for team practice.
A bonus to being employed by the Eagles — Cole got to hang out with his favorite player Carson Wentz, even setting up Wentz’s locker for game day.
On Sunday, Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholar had Cole warm him up before the big game. That set off a trend and Cole was able to help every player warm up.
During the game, as “equipment manager,” Cole got to run on the field after every scoring play to get the kick off tee.
“Seeing him with the players interacting, with the coaching staff it’s special,” Delimitros said.
The Eagles rarely give this kind of all-access opportunity to someone, but for Cole, they just had to, in part to let a kid who has been through so much live out a dream, but also so that Cole can remind us all nothing is impossible you just have to find another way.
“I want to thank Howie Roseman and the Eagles for inviting me here,” said Cole
Cole ended the experience with the Eagles with a game day glove from backup quarterback Nick Foles and autographed with Bible versus to inspire a kid who is so inspirational.