An Escape from Cancer

Nothing brings Will pure joy quite like sports, especially Pittsburgh Pirates baseball. Whether he’s watching a game at PNC Park or researching the prospects in Double-A, Will breathes Pittsburgh baseball. When Connecting Champions introduced him to then-President of the Pirates, Frank Coonelly, Will finally had someone that was on his level of baseball knowledge.

“Frank was such a nice guy,” said Will, now 22 years old. “It was really a great, incredible experience.”

One of Will’s favorite parts about his friendship and mentorship with Frank was how it was an escape from cancer.

“I had never met a guy that was so high up in a sport that I love. Yes, I love football and hockey tremendously, but there’s always been that passion for baseball. Meeting a guy and eventually getting to go into his suite that’s right next to the owner of the team, I never ever thought I’d get to do that.”

Will and Frank would have meaningful conversations about life and what Will was going through, but it always came back to baseball. Whether they were talking over the phone or in-person in Frank’s suite at PNC Park, Will got to discuss his favorite baseball team with the man in charge of the whole operation.

“It was an incredible experience and something I’ll never forget.”

Activity Kits

National Geographic Science Magic Kit

​Help 8-year-old Joe

Future Scientist

Get a science experiment kit to explore with his mentor!

​Help 9-year-old Myla

Future Artist

Get art supplies to create with her mentor!

Help 23-year-old Erik

Future Coffee Barista

Get coffee supplies to learn how to create specialty drinks with his mentor!

The pandemic showed many people what social isolation is really like. It also showed there are many other great ways to connect. That’s why we launched our activity kits. These mailed out packages provide fun activities for our mentors and kids/young adults to do together — virtually.

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