BURLINGTON, Wis. -- Christian Bass was nine months old when he was diagnosed with cancer. He was too young to participate in the Make-A-Wish program, and by the time he turned 3 he was cancer free.
His parents, Annette and Bill, decided to pass on taking a turn with Make-A-Wish “because we were just happy he was alive,” Annette said. “That’s all that was important.”
On Wednesday, one of Christian’s long-time wishes came true when he met Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. The two shared a talk and some laughs. Romo took some pictures and signed some autographs.
“Before, I was excited but when I met him I was like, ‘He seems like a nice person,’” Christian said. “You would think that they’re just different but when you meet him you know that he’s a nice person.”
Bass, 14, is not cleared to play football but his story is part of why Romo holds a football camp each summer in Burlington, Wisconsin, his hometown. In the morning, middle schoolers learned the finer points of different positions. In the afternoon, close to 300 elementary school kids went through a series of drills and ended the day sharing a high-five with Romo.
“I can remember having that feeling of anytime there was a college football player who played at (Wisconsin-Whitewater), I can remember just hanging on every word because it was such a big deal,” Romo said. “For me, coming back here to talk to the kids, I know it’s a special thing to see someone who went from Burlington High School to the next step to the next step. Sometimes you see them play on TV and I can remember being in awe of anybody in a position like that.
“For me it’s really the opportunity to give back and know that I can teach them a little something about the game. I can talk to them or give them a high-five and I can show them that dreams are possible, that anything is possible. You just have to work at it and love something.”
Bass still has yearly checkups with his doctor, but he recently was cleared to play sports. He played some soccer last year and might give golf a try.
He became a Romo fan when he was around 6 years old.
“I just kind of looked up to him,” Bass said. “He stood out to me.”
The Bass family has divided loyalties. Bill, Christian and sister Vivian are Cowboys fans. Annette and Vivian’s twin, Victoria, are Green Bay Packers fans.
“I don’t know if my heart will switch,” Annette said, “but I won’t say I won’t root for the Cowboys now.”