View Full Version : Young Cancer Patient Gets Steeler-Sized Wish

12-20-2007, 03:17 PM

By: Stephanie Watson

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) ― An 8-year-old boy suffering from a devastating disease got a Steelers-sized wish granted last night.

Joseph DeBacco got to meet his idol, Steelers Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during a very special taping of the PNC Hines Ward Show.

http://image.cbslocal.com/175x131/BigBen_1.jpg Joseph DeBacco and Ben Roethlisberger pose for a photo

Joseph, who was only given a 10- to 15-percent chance to live, was ecstatic when he found out he would be meeting Big Ben face-to-face.

"I want to have him sign my jersey and I feel awesome," he told KDKA.

Joseph suffers from a rare form of muscular-skeletal cancer that has inflicted tremendous amounts of pain on his body.

"It has ate holes in his bones," said Joseph's mother, Amy. "It's broke his leg. His three vertabrae are compressed fractures in his spine but he's come a long way."

Amy DeBacco entered the KDKA 75th anniversary poster contest never imagining it would lead to Joseph being able to meet Big Ben.

"It means the world to him," she said. "He's got Ben cards, pictures… there's pictures everywhere in the house of Ben."

But the excitement goes both ways.

Ben says kids like Joseph are his inspiration as well.

"You sit there and think about how sore am I today and complain about practice," said Roethlisberger. "He's a hero to me."

Being a fighter and beating the odds is something Joseph lives everyday and he has some advice for his idol as he heads to St. Louis to take on the Rams this Thursday.

"Be brave and keep fighting," said Joseph.

Joseph has come a long way in his recovery. At one point, the cancer was attacking his entire body; but since his chemotherapy began in June, he now has just one spot on his hip.

What an inspriational story!

Black@Gold Forever32
12-20-2007, 03:20 PM
Very cool story....Good luck to Joseph in his fight with cancer.....Thats awesome of Ben to do that...Thanks for posting this story....

12-20-2007, 05:10 PM
Bless his heart,and it shows what a big heart Ben has.Thanks for sharing!:yesnod:

Silverback 92
12-20-2007, 05:18 PM
Very Cool ! ! ! I needed that today !!!

12-20-2007, 07:02 PM
Very Cool ! ! ! I needed that today !!!

Me too! This is a wonderful story! God Bless Joseph and I hope he fights and wins his battle with cancer. I"m sure Ben will never forget this little fighter. I hope he win this game for Joseph! He had the best advice for Ben!!!
I just love seeing stories about the Steelers making wishes come true! :tt02:

black an gold 4 life
12-20-2007, 07:35 PM
wow great story..................

12-20-2007, 08:00 PM
That is awesome Ben did that!! :clap: Prayers out for Jonathan. :pray:

12-20-2007, 08:01 PM
What a tremendous story of courage and strength for this young kid; hopefully he continues to be able to fight off this disease ! :towelwave:

12-20-2007, 11:09 PM
Dude this is so freaking great... Another reason to love the Steelers :tt02:

12-21-2007, 01:06 AM
Bless his heart,and it shows what a big heart Ben has.Thanks for sharing!:yesnod: