A Coquitlam Little Leaguer whose baseball aspirations were sidelined by a difficult medical diagnosis will get to live out his Major League dream after all.
Matty Sherdahl, 14, will throw out the first pitch before the Toronto Blue Jays host the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre on Monday (May 15).
Sherdahl was diagnosed with a rare brain cancer in 2021. He quickly endured two surgeries for a biopsy and to relieve pressure from fluid buildup on his brain. More operations, four rounds of chemotherapy and four weeks of radiation followed.
The gruelling treatment affected Sherdahl's ability to walk. He couldn't even sit up and he had to relearn how to swallow and talk.
Still, Sherdahl's indomitable spirit and sense of humour persevered. He nicknamed his tumour "Jack Sass" and he told his parents he would "kick it."
A GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Sherdahl's treatment raised more than $45,000 and donations still trickle in.
In an update on the campaign's page, Sherdahl's mom, Tamara, said Matty continues to get stronger with the help of physiotherapy sessions once or twice a month.
He's "relearning how to run, jump and working on his balance," she said. But "playing baseball isn't something he is able to do right now."
As well, Tamara Sherdahl said Matty continues to struggle with this short term memory and attention.
"He still has a traumatic brain injury and is still healing," she added.
The trip to Toronto has been arranged by Make-A-Wish Canada that grants life-changing wishes to kids with critical illnesses. Matty will be accompanied by his mom and dad, Chris, along with his younger sister, Kinsley, who just started playing rookie ball herself.
In fact, Tamara Sherdahl said Matty gave her his favourite bat he used when he played rookie.
"She said the best part of baseball that day was when the coach let her take extra hits because he loved hearing the 'ting' when she hit the ball."