The Cleveland Browns are heading to the playoffs for the first time in 18 years, and one fan was very happy he was able to see the team up close and personal. Tom Seipel, a lifelong Browns fan who was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2017, was able to fly from his home and Georgia to watch the Browns beat the Steelers on Sunday to clinch a playoff berth. This was made possible after Seipel shared his story on the Browns' Reddit page, revealing he was given only a few weeks to live, and watching the Browns make the playoffs was his final wish.
As mentioned by PEOPLE, this caught the attention of the Dawgs of War podcast and Emily Mayfield, the wife of Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. Rawley Davis, one of the hosts of the podcast contacted Emily, which led to Baker sending Seipel a video message. Davis also set up a GoFundMe page to pay for Seipel and his father to fly out the Cleveland to attend the game and raised $24,747.
"You're extremely inspirational, man, you're a warrior," Baker Mayfield said in the video to Seipel, who shared it on his Instagram page. "Just want to say, keep fighting. Appreciate your support and we'll see what happens when we get into the playoffs, we'll see if we make those dreams come true bud."
When Emily heard Seipel was attending the game, she offered him 10 seats in her suite for him and his dad. In a YouTube video, Seipel said: "This is the coolest … I know it's just sports guys, and it's a game, right? But I've lived and breathed Cleveland Browns football for so long, it's just really cool. "So thank you to all those who are making this happen, I'm lucky as heck." The Browns won the game 24-22 and will face the Steelers again in the first round of the playoffs on Sunday night. After the game, Seipel got to facetime with Baker, congratulating him on the win.
"My jaw dropped, I felt like a big dork, I didn't know what to say," Seipel said in an interview with the Akron Beacon Journal. "I was like, 'Dude, that's amazing.' He was like, 'I told you we'd do it Tom!' That was just awesome."