It was a snowstorm Josh McCall — and those who know him — will never forget.
Although his beloved Green Bay Packers might well remember it for seasons to come.
The Port Orchard man was given a very special treat to see the Packers dismantle the Seattle Seahawks in Lambeau Field under a blanket of snow last Sunday. He was also given field passes by the President of the Packers, Mark Murphy.
A Bellevue businesswoman thought she could add a little something after she heard of his story.
Stacey McCall, his mother, said 23 dentists had already refused the in-home visit and the family was close to desperate.
“We had tried for three years to get a dentist to treat him,” she said. “He had an infection, which was treated with antibiotics and all the dentists said he’d have to be off antibiotics for 30 days before they would treat him. He hasn’t been off antibiotics for 30 days in the last three years.”
Josh McCall, 30, has had cerebral palsy since he was an infant. His mobility is limited, so he uses a wheelchair and gets bedsores and as a result MRSA, a form of staph infection. The disease has taken a turn for the worse, and McCall was recently moved to hospice care.
With time short, his last wish was to meet Seahawks or Packers players. The McCall family got him tickets to the Green Bay-Seattle matchup and that’s where they thought it would end.
Another media outlet covered Josh McCall’s last wish, and that’s where Finnessy first heard about him.
“It hit me like a ton of bricks. I thought I’m going to be this man’s fairy godmother,” she said. “My mother would call me stubborn, but I call myself determined.”
Finnessy — a native of Madison, Wisconsin — is an unabashed “Packer Backer” and immediately began calling every source she had in both the Seahawks and Packers organizations.
“I would have done it for him even if he was a 49ers fan. But not a Vikings fan,” she joked. “It’s our duty to help our fellow humans.”
She friended Josh McCall on Facebook and sent him a video message from former Seahawks great, cornerback Marcus Trufant and his family sending well wishes and for a good game.
“I wasn’t sure whether he would know who Trufant was,” Finnessy said. “He’s like a football genius. Almost immediately after I sent it, he sent back a photo of him holding a photo and football signed by Marcus.”
Trufant grew up in Tacoma, went to Washington State and played 10 seasons with the Seahawks. Seahawks legendary quarterback Dave Krieg followed up with a video message, and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers sent a signed football.
And that was before the McCall family even got to Wisconsin. Josh McCall, his mother, his father Jeffrey McCall and his caretaker Mitzi flew to the midwest, saw their green and gold decorated hotel room at the Milwaukee Crowne Plaza, met Packers players in Green Bay and got to witness first-hand Russell Wilson throw a career-record five interceptions.
“It was a bittersweet experience,” Stacey McCall said. “The Seahawks are his second favorite team. And he was in playoffs for fantasy football and had mostly Seattle players on his roster. He didn’t win.”
While this is likely to be Josh McCall’s last football season, he will make the most of this one. The McCall family is planning on attending the Seahawks home game against the Los Angeles Rams this Thursday and Josh McCall has been invited to a practice at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton on Dec. 23.
“He deserves all of it and more,” Finnessy said. “He is just a gem of a person, as is his family.”
Finnessy said that she hopes people will see Josh McCall’s story and pay forward kindness to people, even if they are strangers.
“It’s our duty as human beings to be kind,” she said. “If I have the ability to be a fairy godmother again, I’m going to try my hardest to do it. If there’s a will, there’s a way.”
Stacey McCall said the outpouring of love for her family has been unbelievable.
“It makes me feel kind of overwhelmed,” she said. “It’s been an amazing accomplishment by the community and the teams coming together. Thank you all so much.”