PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — We’ve found Gritty’s biggest fan. Jack, a 3-year-old cancer patient at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, wrote an adorable letter to the Flyers mascot ahead of his birthday.
Jack’s uncle, Ryan Callahan, shared the letter on Instagram over the weekend.
“I am your biggest fan in the world and I love you,” Jack wrote to Gritty.
Jack, who is from Charlottesville, Virginia, is at CHOP while he receives cancer treatment.
Jack writes that he wants to be Gritty for Halloween and even wants a Gritty-themed cake for his birthday on Oct. 30.
In the Instagram post, Callahan writes that “we kind of sort of really need a Gritty appearance at the oncology floor at CHOP between now and Halloween” so Gritty can meet his biggest fan.
The Flyers are currently in Prague, where they will open their season vs. the Blackhawks on Friday. The team then returns to Philly for their home opener next Wednesday vs. the Devils before heading to Western Canada.
In a follow-up post, Callahan thanked everyone for their support and well wishes.
“Jack’s world has been flipped upside down in inexplicable ways because of cancer. But one thing the last 8 months has reminded us is the generosity and goodness that lives in nearly all people,” he wrote.
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I can’t believe how much love and support came from yesterday’s post about Jack’s letter to @grittynhl. Jack’s world has been flipped upside down in inexplicable ways because of cancer. But one thing the last 8 months has reminded us is the generosity and goodness that lives in nearly all people. To everyone who sent a message, commented, or tagged Gritty on social media, thank you so much. We’ve read every comment and will read these to Jack as well. Our hope is that in 10, 15, 25 years from now, Jack will be able to look back and see all the goodness that came from this awful disease and all the love that exists in the world. Special thanks to @grittyphilly for reposting Jack’s letter and giving it the momentum it has received. Here is a photo of Jack from a few weeks ago while he was between cycles and doing one of his favorite things: sitting on his grandpa’s lap and and being a goofy 3 year old. Because while cancer is terrible and scary and sad, Jack likes to do the same things we all want to do: be close with loved ones and laugh.
CBS3 reached out to Callahan, but did not immediately hear back.
In Jack’s letter to Gritty, he asks “Where are you from? What food to you like to eat?”
Hopefully one day soon, Jack will be able to ask Gritty those questions himself.