Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has a game to get ready for, and more media responsibilities than he cares for.
But he took a moment this week to create a moment with a family who has followed his story through their own personal tragedy.
Via Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review, Newton connected this week with the family of Scot Sieczko, who succumbed to cancer in 2014, before he was able to check meeting the Panthers quarterback off his bucket list.
His mother Trae Sieczko was introduced to Newton on Monday, got a signed jersey which her son always wanted, and left with a connection.
“Once I saw Cam, I didn’t say a whole lot, but thank you and please beat the Broncos on Sunday,'” Sieczko said. “I still feel like I’m in la la land dreaming. He’s super nice, super sweet. I know he’s so busy this week, so for him to take a couple minutes is amazing.”
Scot Sieczko became a Newton fan when he was at Auburn, so became an immediate Panthers fan in 2011. His mother’s quest to check off her son’s list became a quest, and the story made its way from local officials through the 49ers to the Panthers, who made it happen Monday after the opening night festivities.
“I’m pretty sure a lot of people know about the criticism that I’ve received since day one, but as much criticism as I get, to have a heartwarming story that pretty much nobody wants to hear,” Newton said later this week. “But when it becomes news to me, it kind of makes me feel great. It makes me understand that it’s a lot of purpose to what I do.”
The Sieczko family isn’t the first Newton has met and encouraged over the course of the year, as the brand of joy he’s brought to the field has extended across his region and nationwide.