ArturoThanks to your overwhelming support of the BN Blogathon, we have – so far – raised $9,425 for Make-A-Wish in their continued effort to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

As you know, Make-A-Wish grants many wishes to young Chicago Cubs fans who wish for a Cubs experience, and it is our intention to help fund those wishes. Make-A-Wish was kind enough to pass along the story of just such a wish recipient, who last year had a very special time at Wrigley Field:

Arturo, also known as AJ by his family, is an upbeat and outgoing twelve-year-old boy who lives with his parents and older sister in Galesburg, IL. AJ loves baseball and football, and uses to play before he got sick. When he can’t participate in his favorite sports, he enjoys watching them on TV. His favorite teams are the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears. It is fitting then that AJ told Make-A-Wish that his two favorite colors are ‘Cubs blue or Bears Blue’. AJ is also a big animal-lover, and takes very good care of his two guinea pigs: Cocoa and Buddy.

In December of 2011, AJ was diagnosed with a Burkitt’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system. AJ had to undergo chemotherapy, and was disappointed when he lost his hair. Despite his struggles, AJ knows that he always has his family to lean on for love and support.

When asked to reveal his most heartfelt wish, AJ wished to go to a Chicago Cubs game and meet some of his favorite players: Alfonso Soriano, Starlin Castro and Reed Johnson. On the morning of his wish, AJ and his family were picked up by limo and taken to the Hampton Inn & Suites in Chicago. AJ could barely sleep; he was so excited for the next three days when he would watch the Cubs play against the St. Louis Cardinals. AJ, wearing his favorite Cubs hat, was escorted onto Wrigley Field where he and his family were able to take photos. Then AJ was presented with a baseball bat and ball which he could use to collect signatures from all his favorite players. AJ had a front row seat in the dugout where he watched the game, shook hands with players, and got autographs! He also witnessed the Cubs win the series over the Cardinals 2-1! AJ’s family was thrilled to see Arturo smile like his old self while at the Cubs game. Thank you for helping to make wishes like Arturo’s Cubs wish come true!

I can’t tell you all how incredible it is that you, the BN community, are helping make wishes like that happen because of your generosity.

But we’re not done yet! Although I’m already on the hook for 34 hours of blogging at the Trade Deadline next week – no sleep, no breaks, just coverage and fun – you can still get two more hours out of me if we get up to $12,000 in donations by Tuesday, July 30. As you can see by Arturo’s story, this is a great cause that makes a real impact in young peoples’ lives.

Please consider donating to Make-A-Wish and spreading the word about our fundraiser. For more on the Blogathon, see here. To donate, go here.

  • butlerdawgs

    So cool that you are doing this Brett, and I am so happy to be a part of it.

  • PRcajun

    Brett, out of curiosity, how will you prepare (or are you preparing already) for the blogathon? Are you sleeping a few more hours than usual each day? Are you training the system for a few more energy drinks than usual? Or are you just going to wing it?

    Again…keep up the good work! We’re all pulling for you!

    • Brett

      Unfortunately, so far, I have only the option of winging it – the kiddos haven’t been cooperative just yet with the whole “getting lots of sleep in advance” thing. Thankfully The Wife is taking the kids to The Grandparents the night before, so I’ll at least get a good night’s sleep then.

      • PRcajun

        I think daddy-duty, from my experience, may be helping you more than hurting you. Your body/mind tends to get more used to functioning with little sleep. I remember when my youngest was just months old it was easier to deal with the fewer hours of sleep just because we were used to going through it with our oldest child.

        Who knows…maybe your internal clock (Kramer-style) will adjust quicker this time around as it knows it usually gets a beating this time of year.

      • Jason

        I’ve heard that you can’t really “stockpile” sleep anyway. If you get 16 hours or 8 hours, it’s just about the same. Same goes with “catching up” on your sleep, even if you’ve not slept for 36 hours, 8 consecutive hours should bring your body back up to speed.

        • Melvin

          Only partially correct. You can’t bank sleep, but you can develop a “sleep debt” that can take weeks to work off.

          • On The Farm

            I thought I read (or maybe just remember from Psychology classes) you can go into sleep debt and it does take weeks to catch up, just from one bad night. The caveat to this is not everyone needs 8 hours of sleep. It is said the average person needs 8 hours of sleep every night, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t people who can function just fine on 6 or maybe even less.

    • Brett

      But good call on starting to take in a little more caffeine now, otherwise my body might freak out on Tuesday/Weds …

  • Patrick G

    Donating as soon as I get home from work!

    • Brett

      Thanks, Patrick!

  • MoistassAlou

    Great job Brett. What a wonderful thing it is that you are doing. Keep up the good work!! Go CUBS!!!

  • Kevin

    Dig deep my friends, we can reach $12,000!

  • ETS

    holy cow! we are getting closer 10,250 as of this post.

  • Ryan

    Brett, this is an incredible act of kindness. Keep it up!

    Hopefully AJ is doing well over a year later.

  • Whiteflag

    As someone with personal experience with Make-A-Wish, I can only say great things about the organization. The staff make you feel like a celebrity, and they make sure every trip/wish goes beyond even the wildest expectations. For a child, who spends years feeling sick, a simple wish can change everything. Thank you to everyone donating, and to Brett for such a generous idea. Ya’ll are doing something really amazing!

    • Chris

      Make-a-wish is the best. My friend Neal McCoy has been involved for many years and so happy to see Brett involved at this end.

  • curt

    it’s a wonderful statement on yrself and yr wife and the kind of ppl that you are and also just as great a statement of yr site and ghe kind of ppl that it attracts it’s like a family we argue like family but have fun like families do too. It’s also nice that you thank everyone so much for donating but is bn”ers who should be thanking you and make a wish for giving everyone a chance to show that people still care and humanity and generosity fo still exist , while we all are due hard cubs fans we are compassionate people 1st and makes me and I’m sure many others proud to be part of bleacher nation.

    • Gretchen

      Yes — it’s a great reminder in the kindness of humanity. I cannot imagine what it’s like to have a super sick child, and the outreach to bring some joy into their lives is very touching.

      • Gretchen

        *of not in

      • On The Farm

        Come on Brett even Gretchen wants an edit button! Although I feel like both words work there, but I am not grammar expert.

  • Larry

    Is Viscaino going to pitch this in the majors or have they decided to wait till 2014 to see if he’s healed and if he can pitch anywhere near what he did prior to the surgery.

    • DarthHater

      He’s a mythical being.

  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    Beckham would look good in Blue

  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    2014 should = 85 wins shot at wild card
    2015 should = 90+ wins shot at division
    2016 and beyond = Gravy

  • Funn Dave

    A hearty and sincere congratulations for raising over nine thousand dollars! However–and I’m going to get blasted in the ass for saying this–but you could save a lot of lives by donating that kind of money to a different charity, and I personally feel that feeding a bunch of starving children in Africa (for example) far outweighs the value of having a few kids meet some celebrities. Obviously, it would be great if we had the resources to save lives AND make terminally ill people happy for a day, but we don’t. Just my opinion. Don’t everyone get your panties in a bundle.

    • waittilthisyear

      that wasnt funn, dave

      • Funn Dave

        I know. Sorry for being such a downer. It just seems like such a shame to see that kind of money go to a few people in a country with a very high quality of life when there are so many people who need it so much more. Dammit, i’m being negative again. At least giving it to the Make a Wish Foundation is better than spending it on ourselves.

        • Hookers or Cake

          Hey Dave – You can always sell your car, house, and devote your life to charity instead of wasting your life fooling around on message boards.

          • DarthHater

            Of course, everybody should get their philanthropy advice from a guy who calls himself Hookers or Cake.

            • Hookers or Cake

              Its “don’t be a dumbass pissing on people who are helping other people” advice.

        • miggy80

          I don’t think there is anything wrong with that thinking. I mean think about it. If this campaign is getting some of us to think what can “I” do. Then other charities stand to benefit from that self reflection.

          • Hookers or Cake

            Nope. Guy is a moron. High quality of life? Kids with terminal disease?
            THe Cubs are baseball palyers and they can help kids by offering to fullfil their wish to meet baseball players. Brett runs a Cubs fan site. Is it all starting to make sense?

            • DarthHater

              The fact that there are good counter-arguments does not make Dave’s point moronic nor Dave a moron.

              • Whiteflag

                Exactly. I don’t think it was his intention to dog on people for donating to the charity, just that he didn’t believe it was the best use of the resources. However, he probably didn’t choose the best time to make the point. It was a bit debbie downer, and that point could be made about how Americans choose to spend their money everyday. It probably would have been best to personally email Brett and suggest a different charity for Blogathon 2014 :)

                • Gretchen


            • miggy80

              Well I guess I don’t see how calling Dave names is being productive. I guess I’m looking at his comment as a paying it forward. We see Brett and the BN come together for this great cause so Dave thinks what he can do. Who knows maybe Dave raises money for children in Africa after this post and maybe DarthHater joins the big brother program. Charity is Charity and there is no second place when giving.

              • DarthHater

                I promise not to incinerate any more planets this week. How’s that? 😉

              • Hookers or Cake

                “you could save a lot of lives by donating that kind of money to a different charity, and I personally feel that feeding a bunch of starving children in Africa (for example) far outweighs the value of having a few kids meet some celebrities”

                This is complete and utter bullshit. Especially posting it here.

                Easing peoples pain should be celebrated not poo-pooed for opinions sake.

                I help homeless people. Focusing on Vietnam Vets as my dad, who I never met, was one. Its dificult work without a lot of happy endings. Some people have said similar BS like this to me. And sorry I overreact because those people are almost never involved with charity. If they were they’d realize how hard it is to really help people and save lives. Just helping a homeless vet or a sick kid is charity. Making them feel like a regular human being for even a couple of hours is a real gift.

                • miggy80

                  I guess I did’t take his comment as pooing on the Make-a-wish drive. I took it as a first step. The push for donations got him thinking about who else that money could help, so I’m not going to knock him down a peg because he would like to help another group of people. And like I said who knows maybe Dave decides to give to a charity that helps kids in Africa. Hell I’m sure Brett would be stoked if we raised only $6,000 for make a wish if half of this community then went out and found a charity personal to them to give too.

                • Scott

                  I’ll take the hookers. I’m diabetic.

                  I see both sides here. There are other charities that help provide life saving food, clothing, vaccinations etc. These charities do good work. Make-A_Wish is a great charity and it affords recipients a once and a lifetime experience. Whatever charity you give to, keep giving.

    • Gretchen

      Thoughtful, very thoughtful.

  • Spencer

    Brett have you talked to Make-a-Wish at all about letting the BN community be aware of what wish(es) the money donated grants, like something similar to the above story?

  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    Price for Castro would be a steal provided Baez or Lake could emerge as SS.
    A TRUE Ace for a heady SS.

  • Jason


    Will you get a story on the kid (hopefully 2 kids) that get a wish because of this? It might be nice to hear what they got to do.

  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    Cubs only need for Baez Lake Bryant Olt Alcantrara and Soler
    1st Rizzo
    2nd Alcantara
    SS Baez
    3rd Olt
    LF Bryant
    CF Lake
    RF Soler
    C Castillo

    • On The Farm

      So the Cubs ONLY need 5 of their top 8 to pan out and Lake to contiune what he has been doing (as opposed to pulling his disappearing act like he did in the minors). Seems reasonable

    • Rebuilding

      Where’s Almora? I would be shocked if they move him. It’s not a worry now, but that lineup would be incredibly right-handed

  • North Side Irish

    From Professor Park’s chat today…

    Junkee (Wrigley): realistic 2015 Cubs starters? 1b Rizzo 2b Alcantara SS Castro 3b Baez LF Bryant CF Almora RF Soler? whos catching?

    Jason Parks: I’d put Olt at 3B and Baez on another team’s roster, with Bryant in RF and Soler in LF. If that’s the lineup, I could be catching and it wouldn’t matter much.

    • On The Farm


  • North Side Irish

    More from the BP chat…

    ddivi23 (Bartlett, IL): If you have to rank the top 5 minor league systems today, who would they be and in what order?

    Jason Parks: I reserve the right to change my mind, but off-the-top of my head:

    1. Twins
    2. Cubs
    3. Pirates
    4. Cardinals
    5. Astros
    6. *Your favorite team
    Jack (Chicago): I was surprised to see Zach mention questions about Baez's #want. Have you heard similar things and is that a red flag for putting in the effort to improve his weaknesses?

    Jason Parks: For me, it's not about his #want but his command over his #want. He plays the game with a lot of intensity, but sometimes that intensity can force sloppy mistakes and a one-speed fits all approach to all sides of the ball. The majority of his mistakes come because he is playing too fast or too aggressive, not because he doesn't give a shit.
    Jose Ole (Johnson City, TN): I hear Vogelbach's defense is starting to look like he may be serviceable at 1B. What are your thoughts about him overall?

    Jason Parks: Big raw and good hit; don't see a 1B, but that doesn't mean he can't make it work. If the bat plays, you can figure out the glove.
    Theo Epstein (Chicago): Thanks for stopping by Jason! Just how good could my future outfield be headlined by Albert Almora and Jorge Soler?

    Jason Parks: This good (points to naked, oiled up physique)


  • North Side Irish

    Daytona Cubs ‏@daytonacubs 1m
    C.J. Edwards has been added to Daytona’s roster and is scheduled to make his Cubs debut on Sunday at 5 in Palm Beach. Ivan Pineyro tonight.

  • Corey

    Teams should totally sell dugout seats. Something like 5k a seat. I know I would buy one if I had that kind of coin. Would be pretty dope sitting next to the players.

  • Katie

    What is this substance is leaking from my eyes. Great story, great cause!

    Great job Bleacher Nation! Lets keep going!!

  • Kevin

    Wow! Over $11K donated already. Nice job everyone!

  • http://odu Greenroom

    Wow! So incredibly proud to be apart of the Bleacher Nation “team”! I am in awe of how much BN has raised! Brett, start doing your push-ups and sit-ups and a little Rocky music, never hurt. Go Cubs~