Seahawks stud Mebane grants Federal Way boy's wish
By CASEY OLSON
Federal Way Mirror Sports editor
September 29, 2011 · 6:20 PM
Brandon Mebane is a big, big man.
That’s just the way it has to be for a defensive tackle in the National Football League. Mebane needs all of his 6-foot-1, 311-pound frame to deal with the massive offensive guards.
Alex Bradshaw is not a big, big man.
In fact, the 10-year-old Nautilus Elementary fourth-grader tips the scales a little under a quarter of Mebane’s girth.
But the two will be forever linked after Mebane made a visit to Bradshaw’s classroom at Nautilus on Tuesday morning, bearing some pretty special gifts for Bradshaw.
The Seahawks’ run stopper was on the Federal Way campus to present Bradshaw and his family with four season tickets in conjunction with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Mebane flipped the entire bill for the season tickets, along with four No. 92 Seahawks jerseys and other swag, after hearing about Alex’s wish to watch every Seattle home game.
“This is awesome,” 10-year-old Alex said about Mebane’s gifts and sporting a huge smile. “I have been a fan of the Seahawks probably since I was born.”
Alex could have opted for several other wishes. Maybe a trip to Disneyland or anything else his mind could have only dreamed of. But there was never any question about what this Seahawks fan wanted.
“I picked this wish because I like football a lot,” Alex said. “I really like to watch it with my dad.”
According to Alex, his favorite Seahawk before Tuesday was current running back/kick returner Leon Washington. He was also wearing a Matt Hasselbeck No. 8 jersey before Mebane’s arrival.
But that distinction now goes to No. 92, not surprisingly, after Bradshaw covered the ex-quarterback’s jersey with Mebane’s.
“He is now, for sure,” Alex said, pointing and smiling at Mebane.
The Seahawks have been very good to the organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. This is the 25th anniversary of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Washington and Alaska, and the Seahawks’ organization has granted at least 25 wishes during that time.
The program is intended to change the lives of the children, but it also altered the lives of the players they came to meet.
“I’m excited to do it,” Mebane said. “During the lockout, I had a lot of time on my hands and I wanted to re-evaluate my life. There were things that I wanted to do as a professional. Things that God put in my heart. I wanted to help change a kid’s life and tell him to keep fighting.”
That’s when Mebane visited Maurice Kelly’s office. Kelly is the team’s senior director of player development and listened to Mebane’s wish of helping out kids in the Puget Sound area.
“I walked into Mo’s office and told him what I was interested in doing,” Mebane said. “He handed me the paper on Make-A-Wish, we started talking about it and I was like, ‘Wow, this is exciting. This is exactly what I’m looking to do.’”
Alex was granted the wish after he was diagnosed with Ogilvie syndrome earlier this year. The disease is the acute pseudo-obstruction and dilation of the colon in the absence of any obstruction in severely ill patients.
It wasn’t until Valentine’s Day 2011 that Alex and his family even realized that he had some very serious health issues.
“That is when he went into cardiac arrest,” said Alex’s father, Rob Bradshaw, a Decatur graduate. “He was down for 18 minutes before they brought him back.”
Alex was then rushed in for emergency surgery to have his colon removed and part of his intestine. Following the cardiac arrest, Alex spent five weeks in the intensive care unit and underwent four major surgeries during his time in the hospital. When doctors removed his colon, it was completely black and dead.
“It was just a huge ordeal,” Rob Bradshaw said. “Doctors still don’t know what caused it and said he had probably been suffering from this since he was one and a half years old. He has always been a really tough kid and very active.”
Following the numerous surgeries, Alex is currently suffering no ill effects from the Ogilvie syndrome and is basically just your normal 10-year-old boy, according to his family. He plays soccer, baseball and basketball and was set to join the Federal Way Hawks junior football program this fall before suffering the cardiac arrest.
But Alex does plan on suiting up as a wide receiver in 2012, he said.
“He was going to play, but because of the surgeries and everything, he is waiting,” said Alex’s mother, Stephanie, who is also a Decatur graduate. “(Doctors) just want to make sure he heals and so do I.”
Until then, you can find Alex, sporting his blue and green No. 92 jersey, inside of CenturyLink Stadium at every Seahawks’ home game screaming for Mebane.
Contact Federal Way Mirror Sports editor Casey Olson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (253) 925-5565 ext. 5056.