My mother, a lifelong Mets fan, had a milestone birthday a few years ago. We decided to have a mini family reunion at Citi Field to celebrate. We splurged on a suite and 21 people, all related to her, came to the game to celebrate with my mom. (Even the Braves fan in the family.)
Shannon Forde was, among other things, running the Mets Twitter account at the time. I have a decently-sized online audience (via email, long story) and asked them to help me find a contact at the Mets, and few of them started tweeting at the Mets. Shannon noticed and sent me a message, and we connected up over email about three weeks before we were off to the game. She was going to see what she could do.
And then, silence for about two weeks. I did the whole "checking in" email a few days before the game. She got back to me a few hours later, apologizing: "Sorry, I’ve been out of the office most of the last two weeks."
It was worth the wait. Shannon told me that she was able to secure some field access for us — the whole group would get to have a fake press conference in the press room, watch batting practice from the field, and get a family picture in the dugout. I had also asked her if I could get a jersey signed by some of the team, and she helped shepherd it through. She was great.
The memories she created for us were unbelievable. We still talk about the game to this day and the family photo in the dugout has been my background picture on my phone ever since. It was truly a wonderful experience.
A month later, the Mets announced that Shannon had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer just weeks earlier. My jaw dropped, not just because someone who had treated us so well had been dealt such a terrible hand, but because in-rereading my emails from her, I noticed that apology again — "Sorry, I’ve been out of the office most of the last two weeks." While I, a stranger, was asking her for a favor out of the blue, she was being told some very bad news by her doctors. And yet, despite this, she still wanted to make sure my family had a great time.