Sharla Folk of Regina is going to the Grey Cup game Sunday in Calgary to ensure the spirit of her son, Chris Knox, lives on.
Knox died of cancer in 2007, not long after he watched the Saskatchewan Roughriders battle for the CFL championship. Knox, 24, was battling cancer and learned it was terminal in August of that year.
With the help of the team and contributions from across the province, Knox fulfilled a wish to see the championship game in person. He saw Saskatchewan beat the Winnipeg blue bombers at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
In 2008 a foundation was created devoting to helping young cancer patients get to sporting events and concerts. This year, the Chris Knox Foundation was able to get 10 Grey Cup tickets, and a group is in Calgary to enjoy the event.
Knox's mom said she felt it was important for her to go too, considering the connection her son had with the Riders.
Folk said being at the Roughriders' Western final game was emotional for her, so she expects Sunday's game to stir up strong feelings.
'To take their minds off all the bad things that are happening in their life, it's just a really great experience.'—Bryce Kovatch, one of 10 patients going to the Grey Cup game
"I was at the game on Sunday when we won and I tell you I cried like a baby," Folk told CBC News.
"It was such a great experience. It's just bittersweet for me because it was minus Chris."
Folk says the foundation's work is particularly appropriate, considering how her son viewed the special attention given him.
"When he was first asked to go to the Grey Cup, he says 'Why do people keeping giving me everything?'" Folk said. "He says: 'I'm not the only kid with cancer.'"
Bryce Kovatch is one of the patients making the trip to Calgary. His cancer is in remission.
"It's great because being around the Allan Blair Cancer Centre this summer and seeing the younger children there was really hard for me to take, even though I was undergoing treatment at the same time," Kovatch said. "To take their minds off all the bad things that are happening in their life, it's just a really great experience."
Folk says her son's spirit lives on, through events like the Grey Cup trip.
"He should be proud to know that these 10 kids, and the 10 from the year before, are going to the Grey Cup because he was brave enough to tell his story," Folk said. "To bring out how it afflicts our families, and these families need a break."