With fans absent from the stands at SoFi Stadium last season, April 24 was the very first opportunity for season ticket members to view their seats and step foot inside the new home of the Chargers. Players like Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler, and Joshua Kelley were on-hand as well.
As soon as Gillett got the email, he knew he had to be there and decided to pick the time slot that featured the head coach.
"I was just about to start my treatment, (so knowing Staley was) someone who has gone through it and someone who was so young and is still able to accomplish everything and get to the highest feat as he did, I was like, I have to pick his brain. I would love to feel his vibe and confidence."
However, Gillett admits he didn't quite read the email and got a little ahead of himself in the moment.
"Me being dumb, I didn't look at the notes! I thought it was I was going to meet him, take a photo and talk to him. Heck yeah! This is gonna be awesome!"
Though as Gillett puts it, he probably shouldn't have gone since his first R-CHOP chemotherapy treatment was earlier in the week.
"I told myself there was no way I'm missing – thinking – I'm gonna meet Brandon Staley."
Gillett and his wife arrived at SoFi Stadium that Saturday and got their first chance to tour the incredible venue and check out their seats. They also watched Staley speak.
"They then told us we had to leave."
As the couple was walking out, Gillett paused and decided to shoot his shot.
Being on the lower level, he asked a security guard if it was possible to hang out a little longer in hopes of being able to seek Staley out. He told the woman his personal story, and she let him and his wife stay as long as they hustled.
But at that point, they were on Staley time.
Staley was still on the field doing media. The first interview turned into a second which turned into a third. Gillett knew this wait wasn't going to be quick. But then, he noticed a Chargers rep with Staley and decided to reach out.
"I said, 'I hate to ask, but I have lymphoma and I know Coach Staley had cancer, so I just wanted to ask him one question,' and she told me she'd go get him right away."
The moment he anticipated, the moment he actually thought was going to happen, all of a sudden became real.