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Brewers fan with a special heart to meet donor's family

Posted: 3:42 PM, Sep 06, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-06 16:42:06-04
Christian Yelich's brother throws out the first pitch

MILWAUKEE — A special relationship developed between a Brewers fan and the family of a Chicago Cubs fan last year, which is destined to last for a lifetime.

Brewers fan Tom Schroeder was given surprising news last year. His heart wasn't in good shape, requiring a transplant as soon as possible. After spending 50 days in the hospital at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center, Schroeder received the heart of 32-year-old donor Joshua Holland.

Three months after his surgery, Schroeder wrote a letter to the donor’s family that was delivered by the transplant coordinator. A month later, he received a letter back from the mother of the donor, Melanie Cook. Among the things he learned about the life of his donor, Schroeder discovered he had been a big fan of the Cubs.

Schroeder had planned to meet the donor's family at some point, but when the shared love for baseball was discovered, Milwaukee Brewers officials wanted to make the meeting special. On Saturday, Schroeder will meet the family of his donor for the first time at Miller Park prior to the Brewers and Cubs matchup this weekend. He and the donor’s niece will throw out ceremonial first pitches.

“We all embrace the great rivalry between the Brewers and Cubs, but this is a story that goes well beyond what happens between the baselines,” said Brewers manager Craig Counsell. “It’s another example of how baseball can bring together fans and families in unexpected ways.”

In marking the occasion, Counsell and Cubs manager Joe Maddon will catch the ceremonial pitches.

“We all embrace the great rivalry between the Brewers and Cubs, but this is a story that goes well beyond what happens between the baselines.” — Brewers manager Craig Counsell

The Brewers will take on the Cubs at 6:10 p.m. Saturday. For ticketing information, click here.