Go ahead …

Go ahead … I dare, I DOUBLE DARE you to call John Challis a bandwagon-jumper.

In Mr. Lemieux’s suite, John also spoke with Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz, in town for his team’s series with the Pirates.

“Awesome,” John Challis kept saying while looking around the suite.

As John Challis was standing between Mr. Lemieux and Mr. Rooney, he looked at them and said, “Wow. I never thought I’d be talking with two owners of sports teams in the city.”

“There’s only one missing,” Mr. Lemieux said, referring to the Pirates.

John quickly replied, “Yeah, but at least the two winners are here.


I love this kid.


  1. wshicldtel
    May 12, 2008 8:32 am

    Crying again………….

    How can this NOT change your life in some way!

  2. CL
    May 12, 2008 8:35 am

    I was almost crying when they were did the interview with him last night during the game. Such admirable strength.

  3. Brian
    May 12, 2008 8:43 am

    Yeah, I actually thought last night after the game was tied that there would be no justice on earth if the Pens lost with this kid at the game. None at all. And as we all learned, there was great justice last night. Not for the Pens, but for him on this one day. Good for him.

  4. TheJim
    May 12, 2008 8:48 am

    I totally love that he has a Yinzer accent too.

  5. back in the burgh
    May 12, 2008 8:55 am

    We were picking up food at Bravo last night around 5:00 when a limo pulled up and we all looked to see who was getting out … it was John and his family! We said, I bet he’s going to the Pens game … leave it to Mario to pull through and give him a great evening. He so deserved that night (and that win!) and I hope we all take a step back and appreciate everything we have today.

  6. jason
    May 12, 2008 8:56 am

    it’s a shame that it takes these types of situations (terminal illness, cyclones, hurricanes…and so on) to open american hearts and spirits. that kid is great; perhaps he’ll find a way to get folks to continue these charitable acts on a daily basis.

  7. Brian
    May 12, 2008 9:12 am

    Jason, what you say is true, but at least these events do raise some kind of awareness. Yes, we always should have these issues at heart, but a little reminder like this goes a long way.

  8. bucdaddy
    May 12, 2008 9:19 am

    Miserable bastard, cheap-shotting the Pirates like that.
    I kid! I kid!

  9. JP
    May 12, 2008 9:22 am

    I was completely bawling when I saw that him at the game. He is one of wisest, bravest people I have ever seen. One thing is for sure he is no longer a kid, anybody who faces that the way he does is all the way grown up and should be the new definition for tough guy/hero

  10. Allison
    May 12, 2008 9:43 am

    He is my new hero.

  11. MoreRoth,LessBurger
    May 12, 2008 10:09 am

    I’ll bet when he does meet God, God will think it was cool that John got to meet Smoltzy, Big Ben, Mario, the Rooneys’ etc.

    Sometimes when things like this touch our hearts, we think..’but it’s only one kid, there are so many out there suffering why can’t they all be treated so well?’
    I wish they could all be treated lovingly and well too – but I guess we can only do a little at a time.

    I hope the angels carry John peacefully and lovingly to heaven when the time comes. And I wish it was 100 years from now.

  12. Caroline
    May 12, 2008 10:10 am

    @TheJim: Hells yeah! The accent is what almost made me cry, being stuck out here in Minnesooota. My Minnesotan friends were talking over him, I had no idea what he was saying, but I could hear the accent and I was beaming. I felt so proud. Way to represent.

  13. Susan
    May 12, 2008 11:44 am

    I think it was great that he got to go to the game, and meet everyone and get pictures taken and all, but why couldn’t they let him stay in the suite to watch the game??

  14. spoon
    May 12, 2008 12:12 pm

    Susan, would you REALLY want to be in the same suite as john smoltz? He’s the Cal Naughton Jr. to Tom Glavin’s Ricky bobby

  15. Katie
    May 12, 2008 1:55 pm

    Awe this guy is so awesome. Damn the cancer!

  16. DeutschtownFrau
    May 12, 2008 3:49 pm

    Not to be disagreeable, but it doesn’t take catastrophes and sad stories to get us Americans to open our hearts and our wallets. We’re the givingest people on the planet. We give more per capita than any nation in the world — out of our own wallets (to say nothing of government aid financed through our taxes). And the working poor give more, as a percentage of their incomes and assets, than any other group! (Though please don’t interpret that as a swipe at our millionaires, like Mario, who is awesome.)

  17. Steeler_tom
    May 12, 2008 6:48 pm

    God loves Yinzers!

    And may God bless all Yinzers!

    (Yep I’m all teary-eyed and homesick right now)

    God bless PittGirl too!

  18. bucdaddy
    May 13, 2008 12:36 am

    Am I the only one who noticed the Penguins got real good the moment Mario finally got off the ice and out of the owner’s box? God bless him for keeping the team in Pgh but he was a drag on the team every season, insisting he could play when you knew he wasn’t going to make it for more than a handful games. But what could they do with the guy? They couldn’t trade him for a batch of draft picks/young players, like a crappy team with a fading superstar (minus /owner) could, they couldn’t bench him, they couldn’t cut him. They had to let him “play.” And he took the team down with him.

    Blasphemy, I know, but someone’s got to dispense some truth.

  19. bucdaddy
    May 13, 2008 12:38 am

    Half out of the owner’s box anyway.

  20. PittCheMBA
    May 13, 2008 1:08 am

    It is a shame that no one from the Pirates organization was present. It is even more embarassing that a player from the visiting team, the Atlanta Braves, cared enough to reach out, and essentially made the Pirates look bad, which is not too difficult to do. Kudos to Mario and Mr. Rooney.