The Seahawks hosted 3-year-old Arenzo, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2015, and 13 year-old Elijah, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2015, as Make-A-Wish kids at Virginia Mason Athletic Center on Friday, December 2, 2016.
The Seattle Seahawks welcomed two special fans to take in their "No Repeat Friday" practice leading up to Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers.
Three-year-old Arenzo Martinez and 13-year-old Elijah Davis, plus their families, witnessed practice indoors and were swarmed by players at the conclusion of it at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center as part of a Make-A-Wish visit.
"I thought it was awesome how soon as the practice was over, they (the players) made their way to the kids and took the time (to embrace them)," said Vanda Todd, the mother of Elijah, who ironically went to college with the father of Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett at Kansas State University.
"I was very impressed because you always think that pro athletes get to that level (professionally) and you almost have to force them to do it, but you could see as they broke that it was genuine and it was very touching."
Said Elijah's father, Markquette: "It was nothing scripted, it was just them doing what they do and I like that."
Arenzo, who was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer in 2015, flew in from North Dakota this week with family. Elijah, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor last year, traveled from North Carolina with his parents.
Arenzo's wish was to play catch with the Seahawks and attend a game, while Elijah's was to meet the team, especially quarterback Russell Wilson, his favorite player. Seahawks players as well as Wilson have thrown passes and interacted with children after practice for Make-A-Wish all season, with today being no different on a chilly afternoon.
"It was pretty impressive seeing everyone run fast and having fun," said Elijah, who caught passes from defensive end Frank Clark and had a ball knocked out of his hands by Michael Bennett.
Said Arenzo's father, Alejandro, about Wilson: "I've always followed him on different sites on media and that was definitely one person I wanted to meet for the time he takes going to children's hospital and doing different positive things."
In addition to Friday's experience, both Arenzo and Elijah, as well as their families, will be in attendance to watch their favorite team on Sunday.
The Seahawks and Panthers face off on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023. Kickoff is set for 1:05 p.m. PT. Take a look back through history at the Seahawks' matchups against the Panthers.