GREEN BAY, WI -- A die-hard Packers fan with one final wish made the long, challenging trip from Washington state to the frozen tundra Sunday to see his beloved team in action.
Thirty-year-old Josh McCall was born with cerebral palsy, which has made him a quadriplegic his entire life.
"Last year some hard decisions were made and desperate attempts to give Josh a better life were futile," according to a GoFundMe page created for McCall. "After several surgeries and months of fighting infections Josh was recently placed on hospice."
Making the trip to Lambeau Field for the McCall family was tough and expensive. But that didn't stop his caregiver from finding tickets for Sunday's game versus the Seahawks that his family says will likely be Josh's last.
It's a journey that's taken them from Port Orchard, WA, to Milwaukee by plane. From there, it was a snowy drive to the frozen tundra.
"It has been quite the journey," says Josh's mom, Stacey, as they gathered in the Hall of Fame in the Lambeau Field atrium. "He is here, he is extremely excited."
Josh McCall is finally getting to experience a Lambeau Field game in the snow, up close. It's a dream Stacey says her son has had since Reggie White first turned him on to the Green and Gold.
"He was 10 years old, and he saw Reggie White play on TV," says Stacey, "and then he saw him in a prayer circle, and watched a documentary on him."
Before the McCall family even made it to Green Bay, they were greeted by Packer Super Bowl alumni Gilbert Brown and Santana Dotson in Milwaukee. Packers officials said they help grant wishes for dying fans through the Make- a-Wish foundation every game, but wanted to make sure they made a special exception for Josh's unique situation.
As Josh's father, Jeff, helps his son steer his motorized wheelchair, they make sure to take pictures in front of White's locker, which is showcased in the Hall of Fame. Josh is dressed from wool cap to toe in Green Bay gear, including a giant blanket with the "G" proudly displayed.
For Josh, staying warm in the snow is a must.
"He can't regulate his temperature at all," explains Stacey, "so.. there's all these things you have to think about."
"But as far as Packers gear, we didn't have to get him anything," explains Jeff, "this is stuff he wears even back home, in Seattle."
It's a bittersweet experience for those who love Josh so much, says his mother.
"This will be his one and only time to be at Lambeau Field," says Stacey, "so it's really cool to have him here."
Josh's mother says it's been a long, painful week for her son, who needs round the clock care. She says they needed to adjust his medication to help him sleep in the days leading up to the trip.
"He's got such a spirit of giving toward everybody else," says Stacey, explaining her son has never complained about his condition, "and he's always put everybody before him. [Now], this trip is all about him."
Despite the pain, Josh's excitement of the promise to get to Lambeau Field kept him strong. The Green Bay Packers also sent Josh a care package earlier in the week, filled with autographed photos of players, which Josh thanked them for on his Facebook page.
The GoFundMe page set up for this trip's expenses had also helped to raise more than $10,000 for Josh's trip.
"A lot of people discount him because he's in a wheelchair. He's extremely brilliant," says Stacey. "He is very humbled by all this."
With the help of the Packers, Josh's experience on Sunday came with a chance to catch some pre-game action from the sidelines. Packers CEO Mark Murphy made sure to greet the McCalls by the sidelines, and thanked Josh for being a huge fan.
"He has been absolutely giddy through this whole thing," beams Jeff, standing by Josh's side. "He's talking about how close he is to the actual field, and so, as a dad, it's totally cool to watch my boy be this happy."
"I'd just like to say thank you," says Josh, "to everyone here that did all this."
Josh's game day dream experience isn't over after Sunday's game.
The McCall family says they've been invited to watch the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field when they get back home.