Birthday wish of a young cancer patient is granted with visit from Gritty

Mike DeNardo
October 30, 2019 - 7:26 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The birthday wish of a cancer patient at Children's Hospital has been fulfilled with a visit from his favorite sports mascot Wednesday as Gritty stopped by the hospital to greet his biggest fan.

His fourth birthday was the best day of Jack Callahan's young life. He got just what he wanted: A visit from Gritty. 

Jack of Charlottesville, Virginia captured hearts throughout Philadelphia last month when he dictated a letter to the googly-eyed mascot from his hospital bed, telling Gritty he loved him.

The love was returned when Gritty arrived at the Ronald McDonald House to celebrate Jack's birthday.

"Gritty came in and Jack was just beside himself. So happy, and he even had a little tear roll down his cheek!" said Mike Callahan, Jack's dad.

He says this has been the happiest day since February, when Jack was diagnosed with cancer in his pelvis that spread to his lungs. Jack has another round of chemo and a stem-cell transplant next week.

"He's so happy right now and that really helps with healing and with handling these treatments," Mike said. 

And dad says Jack will be talking about his day with Gritty for weeks and weeks and weeks.