Alex Lamparter had no clue one of her biggest dreams would start coming true at a high school Friday night football game.
She never expected to walk onto the middle of the field at halftime to the upbeat sounds of the school band at Clover Memorial Stadium, where the Clover Blue Eagles mascot is painted in blue, and watch as a limousine rolled to a stop in front of her.
The 15-year-old Clover High School student was wide-eyed and amazed as fans of all ages were cheering wildly for her, like their team had just won the Super Bowl.
Face-painted teenagers, high-kicking cheerleaders and close friends frantically clapped.
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The typical teenager, who loves hanging out with friends, playing soccer and spending time with family, was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a bone cancer tumor. She is undergoing treatment at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte.
On Friday before the game, the Dream On 3 organization that makes sports-related wishes come true for children with illnesses, disorders, and life-altering disabilities, gave Alex some news she never expected to hear: She was flying to New York City with her parents and brothers to attend the New York Jets’ opening day game at the MetLife Stadium on Sunday.
An announcer told fans at the game over the loudspeaker, “This weekend, Dream On 3 will be making a dream come true for one of our very own.
“Alex Lamparter, tonight your Clover High School family and Dream On 3 want to huddle up with you and remind you that no one fights alone,” the announcer said. “Alex, it looks like your ride is here.”
After climbing into the limo, Alex rolled down the window and waved to the cheering fans and football players running back onto the field to start the second half.
“All I knew was that I was going to a high school football game,” the beaming Alex said as she rode around the stadium.
She knew about the trip before the game on Friday, but did not know about the halftime presentation, or the plans to board a plane to New York first thing in the morning.
“I haven’t even packed,” said Alex, who is partly home-schooled and attends two classes each day at the school.
To add to the excitement, Alex will also get to meet the Jets players. She already knows which one she wants to meet the most: Eric Decker, the wide receiver who stars with his wife on an E! network reality show.
A Long Island, N.Y., native, Alex moved south when she was in third grade. That didn’t stop her family from staying staunch Jets fans.
“I was raised watching the games, every time they play,” said the teen, who had blue-and-white painted fingernails with the letters J-E-T-S and a shirt that says “We are Clover.”
She has attended a Jets game at the Panthers stadium, but she was ill that day, and “we had really bad seats,” she said laughing. “Plus, we lost.”
Dream On 3 heard about Alex through Levine – one of three regional hospitals the charity collaborates with. The organization handles all the details of the trip, including transportation, accommodations, meals, entertainment, any required medical services while traveling and even a photographer to document all of her experiences.
As she hopped out of the limo to find her family, Alex asked Dream On 3 staff if her parents knew about the surprise.
“Yes,” they told her.
She laughed and said, “I don’t like it when my parents know things that I don’t know about.”