Mikah Carney is just five years old. But six months ago, he was diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
While Carney completed his first round of chemotherapy last week, that didn't stop him from a fun-filled day on Monday as the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LSS) presented him with a Random Act of Light day courtesy of LLS and the Chargers.
Carney is the LLS' Honored Hero for their annual Light the Night walk and fundraiser.
"It's a priceless opportunity," said Mikah's mother, Sarah Carney. "It's a moment we're going to cherish forever. Having gone through some intense treatment recently, there (have) been a lot of tough days, and days where you just want to get through them and you just want to see a smile on his face. Opportunities like this are really bringing him some amazing memories and things that are going to carry him through probably the biggest trial of his life."
Carney had a special buddy, Chargers center/guard Scott Quessenberry, tag along for his day. Quessenberry knows first-hand what it's like to have a family member dealing with cancer as his brother, David, battled lymphoma.
"It was really special for me because having a cancer survivor in my family and seeing what he went through and being able to know what that family is going through was really special," Quessenberry explained. "Just being able to help them any way I could, I know it wasn't much, but it made me really happy and excited for the family."
"(Scott) is incredible," Sarah stated. "He has a huge heart. Having experienced this himself with his brother having cancer, you just know he knows exactly what we're going though and knows what we're feeling; the struggles, the hard moments. So for him to be here (and) take the time for Mikah and for our family is just really special."
Their day began at the LLS building in Santa Ana where Quessenberry surprised Mikah with six tickets to Disneyland. Then, Quessenberry and Carney, who was joined by his mom, dad and siblings, hopped into a van that took them to Hoag Performance Center.
It was there that Mikah got to sit at the very same table the players sit at and signed a contract with General Manager Tom Telesco and Executive VP of Football Administration/Player Finance Ed McGuire to become a Charger for a day.
"They came in with such joy, and you could tell they really cared about bringing a smile to Mikah's face," she mentioned. "I know Mikah, being only five, doesn't completely understand all of what's going on. But he's going to have pictures and his contract to remember that he got to be a Charger for a day. That is something that me as a mom, I'm going to cherish that forever."
Mikah then got a personal tour of Hoag Performance Center, stopping in the locker room to see he had a personalized nameplate on the locker next to Quessenberry's. After tossing a football around on the practice field, Quessenberry surprised Mikah with tickets to a Chargers game of his choosing for the upcoming season. From there, the crew ended their tour in the Chargers weight room where they got to meet other Chargers like Jatavis Brown and Hunter Henry.
As Sarah explained, and as Quessenberry can attest, for those battling cancer, there are sometimes more bad days than good. That's what makes days like Monday so special, and both Sarah and Quessenberry were grateful to the Chargers organization for having a part in making his day truly unforgettable.
"He was one of the guys today," Quessenberry added. "It was really special for me and for his family, and it's something they'll never forget…. The truth is that there's more bad days than good days; it's like three bad days and one good day. So anytime you can put a smile on their face for a kid like Mikah, and we were able to do that here today, not just me, but the whole organization, it's pretty special."
Click here for more information on Light the Night and events in your area.
Scott Quessenberry and Tom Telesco surprise 5-year-old Mikah Carney, who is bravely fighting Leukemia, with a one-day contract, tickets and facility tour. Welcome to the family, Mikah!