ROCHESTER, Minn. - It's a story of strength, an incurable disease and the generosity of a Mayo Clinic Surgeon. In a video that is going viral one football fanatic is surprised with the gift of a lifetime.
Seth Bayles, of Bristol, Wisconsin, was just 7-years-old when his parents noticed strange lesions on his body. He began to have extensive pain, which progressed to the point he couldn't walk. Seth would later be diagnosed with a rare auto-immune disease. He and his mom spent more than a decade visiting doctors and looking for answers, before arriving at Mayo Clinic in 2009.
While Seth might be from Wisconsin he is anything but a Packer's fan. Instead, he is a walking billboard for his favorite football team the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"I've been watching it all my life ... the Steelers ... and I became the biggest die-hard fan ever," said Seth Bayles.
Although Bayles is a big fan, a nurse of his at the Mayo Clinic is as well, Patrick Quandt.
Quandt works in the ICU as a nurse and it's incredibly rare for him to work in pediatrics, but he happened to be a floater nurse last week when he met Bayles.
"I think it was one of those things where God was looking down and we were destined to meet," said Quandt.
Instantly the two connected talking about football.
"I found out where he lived and asked him if he was a Cubs fan, he replied oh gosh no, I'm a Pirates fan. I said are you a Steelers fan? He said Oh my gosh yes, I said I am a Steelers fan too and have been my whole life," said Quandt.
To give you an idea of just how big of a football fan Quandt is, he has a Steelers tattoo on his right shoulder.
Quandt told KIMT he was so touched by Seth's journey and strength he knew his friend Cardiac Surgeon John Stulak would love to meet him. Dr. Stulak, a man who had never met Seth before, gave him his autographed Ben Roethlisberger football, a wedding gift from his brother. The surgeon hoped it would give Seth strength and hope to push forward on his tough days.
"I'm a huge Steelers fan and then getting something that had been signed by a player on the Steelers is just unbelievable," said Bayles.
The story is about much more than just a football, it truly is about faith and never giving up hope. The Bayles family gives out bracelets to people interested in following Seth's journey, written on it is the Bible verse Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ".
To follow Seth's Journey.
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