Scott and Deb Wilson formed Noah's Bandage Project in memory of son
By Lindsay Berra
KANSAS CITY -- October 28 would have been Noah Wilson's 8th birthday. His parents, Scott and Deb, know there is no place on earth their son would have rather spent his big day than at Kauffman Stadium for Game 2 of the World Series, so they were beyond thrilled when the Royals called to tell them Scott had been awarded the Buck O'Neil Legacy Seat for the evening.
"We wanted to be together as a family tonight, and this was Noah's favorite place," said Deb. "When he was in the hospital, the moment he would get out, if there was a game, we would try to go. The fresh air was good for him and he just enjoyed it so much. This is where we want to be."
Noah had Ewing's Sarcoma, a cancer that affects bones and the soft tissue around bones. He passed away in June.
When Scott posted a video on Facebook of his son dramatically announcing the Royals' starting lineup from his hospital bed a week prior to the 2014 World Series, Noah became a celebrity in Kansas City. His story was told on all the local news outlets. Noah was given tickets to Game 2 against the Giants by Joe Torre and Major League Baseball. He became buddies with Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer.
But Noah wanted to use his newfound reach to help other kids with cancer, so he and his family started Noah's Bandage Project. Noah knew that hospital gowns all look the same, that once children begin to lose their hair from chemotherapy treatments, they too all look the same. But bandages bearing cartoon characters and superheroes allow children to stand out. To that end, Noah's Bandage Project collects fun boxes of bandages for young cancer patients and also raises money for pediatric cancer research. Since the nonprofit's inception, it has collected more than 24,000 boxes of bandages and raised more than $60,000.
"We have a goal to raise $100,000 by June 30, the one-year anniversary of Noah's passing," Scott said. "We would like to give our first grant for research toward Ewing's sarcoma and acute myeloid leukemia."
The grant money will fund the research of Dr. Erin Guest, who was Noah's doctor at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.
On Wednesday night, the Royals honored Scott and his family with O'Neil's legendary red seat. O'Neil starred for the Negro Leagues' Kansas City Monarchs and became the first African-American coach in Major League Baseball when he was hired by the Cubs in 1962. Later, as a scout for the Royals and as a fan, he spent countless days and nights watching games from his seat behind home plate: seat 9, in row C of section 127.
The Royals began the Buck O'Neil Legacy Seat program in 2007. Every night, they fill "Buck's Seat" with a special person who, on a large or small scale, represents Buck's spirit through work done in the community.
Deb and Scott attended the game with their three children, and both wore blue hoodies with the Royals logo, Hosmer's No. 35 and their son Noah's name on the front.
Lindsay Berra is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.