Browns Fans And Baker Mayfield Rally Behind Fan And Missionary Battling Cancer, Bring Him To Historic Playoff-Clinching Game: ‘The World Needs More Lovely People Like You And Your Family! Go Brownies, Let’s Win This For Tom’
Tom Seipel is “a father, husband, a Pastor, a friend and a HUGE fan (of) The Cleveland Browns!!!” as mentioned in Seipel’s GoFundMe, which was started to help his family out in such a difficult, trying season.
As a Browns fan, it’s been a great, historic season on the field. But for Seipel, during this season in his life he’s facing real pain and adversity:
“Tom Seipel is currently in Hospice care in Savannah. He has stage 4 renal cancer that the Drs have said he probably has only a couple of weeks. His wife and 6 year old daughter will be going back and forth to Nicaragua to visit friends and family often, but will be staying here now that Margarita has her Green card and has found some work! Nicaragua is where they met and he was a Missionary and a Pastor. Any financial donation will help them start over since Tom was their support. Please feel free to watch his Video Blog updated daily atGoFundMe: “Tom Seipel’s family support”
The missionary and pastor, Seipel, has daily blog updates from hospice, titled “#SeipelStrong“, as he also details the pain and nausea he’s been experiencing.
Baker Mayfield caught wind of Seipel’s story:
“Hey Tom, Baker Mayfield here, was just reading up on your story, you’re extremely inspirational, man,” Mayfield said per a post compiled by AngryBrownsFans and posted by SportsCenter. “You’re a warrior. Just want to say keep fighting, appreciate your support and we’ll see what happens when we get in the playoffs, we’ll see if we can make those dreams come true, bud. We’ll be praying for you, man, hang in there. Go Browns.”
Seipel got emotional in one of his blogs saying: “That really was cool. Made my night, made my year, coolest thing that I’ve had, gosh, best Christmas present that I could have asked for. So, Baker you rock, thank you.”
For a man that has dedicated his life to serving others and has been giving of himself, he was about to receive another present. This time, it was historic.
According to SportsCenter, “Browns fans started a fundraiser for Tom Seipel…to get him to the Browns’ playoff-clinching game.”
Seipel: “We here!” That’s all that needed to be said as he anticipated what was about to go down seeing his team clinch a playoff win
Yes, Seipel was able to watch the Browns win over the Steelers with his father. And it wasn’t just any win. That win was historic as the Browns clinched the playoffs for the first time in 18 years, winning 24-22, per Cleveland.com.
“Thank you to all those that are making this happen,” Seidel said. “I’m lucky as heck. Thank you for the support, Browns fans.”
Seipel mentioned being “a (Browns) fan since the 80s” in this Twitter interaction with Myles Garrett in May 2020:
So, you can just imagine what this type of gift meant to the missionaries, pastor, and loyal Browns fan.
“What a weekend and it just beat me up…but it was all worth it, what an amazing weekend…Emily and Baker Mayfield, thank you, anybody else that I’m missing thank you, there’s a lot of people that did a lot of things, what an adventure…I told my wife, it’s not like it wasn’t the best day of my life because that’s when I married you or when I had my daughter but it was definetly the best adventure,” Seipel said in a blog update after he got back from the trip. “So cool.”
Seipel’s seen all those losses, “watching every game the last 10 years serving the poor in Nicaragua”. Now, he got to watch one of the biggest wins in franchise history.
“And the biggest part of it, it’s amazing how much the Gospel is being spread by this little story. I have probably received thousands of message, my phone is…going off like crazy…all the people saying how much saying their story how much it’s touched them I just read a message from some girl who’s been sicidal for like the last ten years and thought she didn’t have anything to live for and was following my story and realizing that there’s people like me who wish that I could live more…she just realized that, man, there’s reasons to live and she’s just going to keep fighting. Its been an emotional 48 hours. Very touching. God is good. He’s planted a lot of seeds. I’ve helped plant some seeds and the Lord will water them and make them grow and produce fruit hopefully.”Tom Seipel, Youtube #SeipelStrong “Back In Savannah” Blog Episode
So many fans, both Browns fans and non-Browns fans alike are showing their support and love to Seipel and his family:
- “Chiefs fan (here)…I lost my long time friend two years ago to kidney cancer… while I will be rooting for the chiefs next week, I was touched by you and Mayfield. In the event the Browns beat my Chiefs, I will be thinking of you Tom! Ps, my son is studying at Ohio State as well, Go Bucks!”
- “I try to support my Brownies and Tom your story touched my heart. Thank you for being a soldier for Jesus Christ and may our Lord take care of your families needs forevermore. Amen”
- “Praying for you Tom”
- “Thinking of you and your family. Love the Ohio community. Hope you feel us rallying behind you. GO BROWNS”
- “Good Luck to you and your Browns, from a Giant’s fan in Savannah”
- “Praying for you and your family Tom. Know that God will be watching over them, YOU, and our beloved Browns this week, next week, and all the weeks to come. God Bless you.”
- “Sorry, I’m a diehard Steelers fan so I can’t root for you next weekend in our playoff game; however, I hope you had a GREAT trip this weekend and am glad you got to see a “W” (even if it was against my Steelers LOL). We may root for rival teams, but we’re all humans trying to live our best life possible and hopefully we can all realize what’s truly important at the end of the day.”
- “Tom – Prayers coming to you from a Browns fan in Los Angeles. God Bless you.”
- “The world needs more lovely people like you and your family! Go Brownies, let’s win this for Tom”
Well, guess what. Deja vu. The Browns not only beat the Steelers to get into the playoffs. They just beat them again in the playoffs, advancing to the next round.
Who knows? Maybe, just maybe, those Browns can make it to the Super Bowl and win one for Tom.
Charlie Lapastora is a sports/news multimedia journalist who’s reported, written, produced, anchored, shot video/edited on different NBC, ABC, and FOX shows in multiple TV markets, along with digital & new media companies. Charlie has traveled the country telling national sports, news, feature, and original stories on a cable news network, airing on top 10 TV markets, satellite radio, and digital platforms. He is passionate about his faith, family—being a husband to whom he calls the G.O.A.T. of women—about reppin’ his home state of Michigan and Detroit teams (yes, including the Lions), good coffee, and loves how sports brings people together. He’s traveled the world leading and coaching sports camps and has also worked at the Detroit Pistons and LA Clippers’ NBA teams.
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