BOSTON - While Red Sox fans and baseball lovers alike are mourning the loss of Tim Wakefield, he's also being remembered for his greatest passion: fighting childhood cancer.
Wakefield was a passionate advocate for and volunteer with the Jimmy Fund for the last 20 years.
"We have heavy hearts right now, and I think we will for a very long time," explained Lisa Scherber, who is the Director of Patient and Family Programs at the Jimmy Fund. "I think he brought us magic, and he brought us absolute joy. And we are never going to forget him."
Scherber was tearful in an interview with WBZ, in which she revealed Wakefield had become a friend over the years he worked with the Jimmy Fund.
Wakefield died at the age of 57 over the weekend after a private battle with brain cancer.
"Whatever we needed, he did it," Scherber explained.
Wakefield often came to see the kids fighting cancer on his own time, when the cameras weren't rolling.
"We loved him you know?" Scherber said. "I think it's just one of those things where he was not just a knuckleballer to us. He was a unicorn. You can enjoy your whole life and never meet a unicorn, but they are real because that's what he was to us."
Scherber revealed a story she holds near and dear to her heart.
On a trip to a Chicago baseball stadium with some of the Jimmy Fund kids, Wakefield witnessed a teen boy Robby "hopping" down the stairs to get near the ball players. Robby had lost his leg recently due to his cancer.
Wakefield "ran up the stairs, and he put Robby on his back, and he carried him down to the front row where he wanted to be.Now that's something that just doesn't happen," Scherber explained.
That's the kind of guy Wake was, she said.
Up until his final days, he was involved with the Jimmy Fund. As recently as Saturday night, he informed her he planned to walk part of the Jimmy Fund walk on Sunday, October 1 from Dana Farber to Fenway Park.
Unfortunately, his own battle with cancer took his life before he could do the walk.
"That's what cancer is about; it just doesn't have a good time table," Scherber said. "There will never be another Tim Wakefield, and we were so lucky that he was ours."
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