When Jesse Bailey was at Seattle Children's Hospital last year, a visit and subsequent Instagram post from Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson helped inspire the young Seahawks fan from Spanaway who was battling Germinoma, a type of brain tumor.
Following Tuesday's practice, Bailey, 13, reunited with Wilson as part of a Make-A-Wish visit to Seahawks practice that also included 18-year-old Steven Snider, a diehard fan from Yakima who has fought cerebral palsy and seizures.
"It's exciting to see him so happy, and seeing Russell again but on different terms, not laying in the hospital," Jesse's mother, Monica Alexander said.
According to Alexander, Wilson's visit provided inspiration as he battled a cancerous brain tumor. Not long after Wilson's visit, as well as his "Jesse is a true warrior" post, Alexander asked her son if he wanted to borrow her hooded sweatshirt to cover the scar on his head.
"No, I'm a warrior," Jesse responded.
"The inspiration he got from that, just that few minutes with Russell, it gave him that fight," Alexander said. "Once he found out it was cancer and he had to go through the chemo and the radiation, he just fought his way through it: 'Bring it on, let's get this done.' It's pretty amazing."
Moments after meeting Wilson, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and several other players, a still-in-awe Jessed called the day "pretty awesome" noting he's "going to be yelling really loud" at Thursday's game against Dallas, which is also part of his and Steven's wishes.
Like Jesse, Steven soaked in plenty of attention from players and coaches, and impressed Will Tukuafu with his strength—"Whoa, take it easy man," the 280-pound fullback said after shaking Steven's hand. Steven also handed out bracelets to players that read "Steven Rocks" on one side and "12th Man" on the other.
"It's kind of surreal walking into this," Steven's mother, Stephanie Snider said. "From a mama's heart, it's probably the best thing in the world to watch because of how Steven just absolutely loves the Seahawks. He eats, breathes and sleeps Seahawks, so this is just an amazing experience for him. So to watch that, my heart is very full and I just feel very blessed. To just watch his dreams come true in front of us, it doesn't get any better."
In particular, Stephanie Snider was moved by the way Seahawks football can help her son open up when interacting with others.
"His cognitive level is a little bit lower and there's certain things he has a hard time wrapping his head around, but he can wrap his head around anything Seahawks," she said. "It's funny, any doctor, anyone who talks to him, to carry on a conversation is pretty hard, but if it's about the Seahawks, he'll carry on a conversation that's amazing."
The Seattle Seahawks granted two local boys wishes at practice on Tuesday. Jesse and Steven were invited to Virginia Mason Athletic Center to attend practice, meet players and tour the locker room.