MACON, Ga. — The Atlanta Braves granted a wish to FPD middle-schooler Jackson Hall earlier this summer before one of their home games, and it was a dream come true for the 12-year-old after a two-month nightmare of recovery just a year ago.
“I guess it was the day of his fifth grade graduation that he had a tummy ache,” says mother Aimee Hall. “We thought it was appendicitis and took him to the emergency room, and the doctors found multiple lesions on his liver, did a biopsy, and found out it was cancer.”
Jackson battled B-Cell Lymphoma and was able to ring the bell for his one-year cancer-free scan this past July after five rounds of chemo at St. Jude Hospital.
The Atlanta Braves franchise partnered with Make-A-Wish to make him a Brave for the day, including a tour of the clubhouse with his favorite player, Austin Riley, and got a chance to warm up with the team.
“It was the coolest thing I’ve ever done and it was so fun,” explains Jackson. “Everybody knows them (players) because of their stats, but they can show people they have personality, too, and that everything is not baseball."
Although Jackson had several options for his Make-A-Wish, his heart's desire was his favorite home team from the Peach State.
“It was tough -- half my heart was in Memphis and Macon because I stayed here with the girls,” says father Matthew Hall. “I can’t overstate how our community just loved on us, and I tell this to people -- you’ve read about God's love from the Bible, but we felt it in a real, tangible way when he was sick.”
Jackson believes watching the Braves play helped him while he was going through treatments, and he’s hopeful they defend their title with a repeat this fall. He will return to St. Jude one last time next year to make sure he has remained cancer-free.