Rider fan donated Grey Cup tickets to sick kid's parents
Couldn't make it to the game, so Mark Metanczuk had a big Grey Cup party at home
A dedicated Saskatchewan Roughriders fan who was unable to use his tickets to the Grey Cup, decided to give them away to the parents of a youngster receiving treatment for a serious medical condition.
Mark Metanczuk, who is originally from Saskatoon and now lives in B.C., called the Children's Hospital Foundation soon after his plans to be in Regina fell through.
I f somebody who really needed them could go, I would be able to always look back and say I wasn't there but somebody who needed them more than me was there.- Mart Metanczuk
"I just didn't want to sell [the tickets] because I thought if I do that I'll never be able to forgive myself for not being able to make it there," Metanczuk told CBC News Thursday. "So I thought if somebody who really needed them could go, I would be able to always look back and say I wasn't there but somebody who needed them more than me was there."
Metanczuk was also moved to give the tickets away because of his own experiences as a parent of a sick child.
Fifteen years ago, his seven-year-old daughter died from an acute viral infection.
He said his family received help from the community at the time, and donating the tickets was a way to give back and help other parents going through a difficult time.
"I just knew how much it would mean to them," he said. "To get a day where your mind is on something besides that [health issue]."
Metanczuk was not able to meet the family who were in his seats at Mosaic Stadium Sunday, but he expects the atmosphere of the game likely made their day.
"You couldn't help but get caught up in that," he said. "Probably the next day they went, 'Wow we actually forgot about our situation.'"
While he was not able to be there, he understands the tickets went to a family with a three or four-year-old daughter who is undergoing treatment for a heart condition.
Metanczuk ended up having a large Grey Cup party at his home in Nanaimo. A longtime fan, he had a house full of Riders merchandise for the big game.
With files from CBC's Joana Draghici