Six years ago Kolten Wong lost his mother to cancer. The last games she was him play in were the World Series games in 2013.
Being so far from home when she was sick, he carried her in his heart as he played and then after she passed away. Wong knew first hand what a family dealing with a loved one having cancer was like and he knew he wanted to help ease some of the pain these families face, choosing to do it with children.
He got on board with former Cardinal pitcher Jason Motte and his “K Cancer” with the backwards K.
Wong carries on his mother’s legacy on with “Kolten’s Crew” bringing children with cancer to the ball park for an experience of a lifetime.
He works with the Cardinals ticket office to provide a special experience for these families.
Through a special ticket program and the support of sponsors like Ryan Goodwin of Scott Credit Union in Edwardsville, Ill., he brings in groups of children with cancer– and this weekend 10 families from Rainbows for Kids were lucky enough to get to participate.
Goodwin was on hand as the kids and parents got to go on the field and meet Kolten Wong and get their pictures with him.
Wong chatted with them individually in the dugout, and afterwards the families were treated to food vouchers and good seats from which to watch the Cardinals beat the Pirates.
“It was a great family experience,” said a mother of two sons who got to go on the field. Her daughter in the stands had on a Wong jersey. “Meeting Kolten and being on the field was an amazing experience. I also got to meet my second favorite Cardinals shortstop of all time—David Eckstein!”
Eckstein, a former Cardinals fan favorite was there—but in a Pirates uniform. He saw the kids and was very caring and talked to the families.
“It was a big thrill to meet him,” said one mother. “I have the same disease that members of his family have and I thanked him for spreading awareness about it. I told him, I don’t want your autograph, I just wanted to meet you and thank you.”
Wong made sure the kids had fun and got to see others on the field including Willie McGee and Al Hrabosky who also posed for pictures with the kids.
Through the ticket program, charities are selected and when Rainbows for Kids got word they were chosen it was put out on a private Facebook page. Everyone got the opportunity to apply and there were criteria which put some at the top of the list—one of which was being currently in treatment or the family facing adverse circumstances in recent rimes.
There were a lot of smiles the night of the field visit. Many of the children are in treatment for cancer and some very sick, but for one night they got to forget their medical situations and just be kids—having a lot of fun on the field at Busch Stadium.
This is not the first time Wong has pitched in where Rainbows for Kids was concerned. He was the guest speaker at the Rainbows for Kids-STLSportsPage.com Spring Training Party two years ago.
For more information on Rainbows for Kids CLICK HERE.