Friday, September 7. Child Hospital Darcy Vargas, São Paulo. Doctors have just told parents of 13-year-old José Erasmo that their son is losing his battle against cancer and that he might not have more than a day to live.
The boy’s wish is to meet with the Palmeiras squad, get a jersey autographed. His parents call the club and are able to arrange for an express visits at the hospital: Mauricio Ramos and his wife, Marcos Assunção, Wesley and manager of football César Sampaio break free from their last minutes’ preparation; the squad is soon leaving for Belo Horizonte where they will play Atlético Mineiro the following day.
The boy can hardly open his eyes. He makes faint movements with his arms, with his hands. Maurício Ramos gives him a jersey and they all sign a Palmeiras poster pinned to the wall in the boy’s room at the hospital.
— ooo —
Monday 1 October. Maurício Ramos receives a phone call from the hospital. The boy, José Erasmo… He’s not only able to keep his eyes open but is eating regularly, regaining movement and speaking! Actually, the doctors say, they are basically ready to send him home!
Today Mauricio Ramos, Marcos Assunção and César Sampaio brought fellow teammate Luan along as they went to see José Erasmo again, this time paying a visit in his own home. Still too weak to move about much, José Erasmo will have to wait a bit before visiting the Palmeiras grounds: currently #1 on his wish list. My guess is he won’t have to wait that long!