LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — A 19-year-old Los Angeles Dodgers fan battling brain cancer was overjoyed by a generous gesture made by All-Star Matt Kemp over the weekend.
After a 4-3 loss to the Giants at San Francisco’s AT&T Park Sunday, the center fielder went to meet Josh Jones and his father, who were sitting in the front row adjacent to the third base dugout.
“(Third base coach Tim Wallach) told me that there was a big Dodger fan at the game and that he didn’t have a long time to live — not longer than a month and a half,” Kemp said. “So after the game, I just decided to go meet him. He couldn’t talk because I guess his speech was gone. When I said ‘Hi’ to him, he just looked at me in shock. It almost got me.”
Kemp then autographed a baseball, took off his cap and removed the jersey from his back. He also took off his cleats. All of the items were handed over to a shocked Josh.
“Made me really happy when he did that,” said Josh. “I was kinda in disbelief. I couldn’t believe he was doing that for me.”
“I kinda just gave him everything on my body that I could,” said Kemp. “I didn’t plan on doing all that I did. I wanted to put a smile on his face and give him a memory he’ll never forget.”
Josh’s friend, Tommy Schultz, recorded the scene unfold on his cellphone. He later posted the video online, which has gone viral.
Josh’s brother, Ryan, said, “My brother is such a great person. And so is Matt Kemp. I just knew that if he posted it he was going to get a lot of response out of it.”
Steve, Josh’s father, said the Bay Area family chipped in to get tickets to the game so Josh could see his beloved Dodgers one last time. What Josh actually received exceeded everyone’s expectations.
“I just wanted my son to meet Matt Kemp and that was it. Giving him his jersey. Giving him his shoes. I mean, that just went over the line there. You never see players do that,” he said.
Josh said he wears Kemp’s jersey with pride and wants to keep fighting his deadly disease more than ever.
“I want to keep fighting the cancer,” he said.
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