Man with Down Syndrome Raises $20K for Special Olympics, Gets Dream of Singing Anthem at Cubs Game

Nick Kangadis | September 13, 2018
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Some stories just make your heart happy. This is one of those stories.

Chicago Cubs fan Stefan Xidas, who has Down syndrome, has had the dream of singing the national anthem at Wrigley Field before a Cubs game for a while now. Xidas, with a suggestion from friends, started a GoFundMe page to raise money for the Special Olympics Illinois.

“I'd like to make a deal with Tom Ricketts, the owner of the Chicago Cubs,” Xidas’ GoFundMe page read. “If I'm able to raise $5,000 for the Special Olympics Organization, Tom Ricketts will let me sing the national anthem at a Cubs game.”

Well, Xidas did way better than his goal. As of this writing, Xidas’ GoFundMe page has raised nearly $20,000 for Special Olympics Illinois. The Cubs charity also donated $18,000 to match Xidas’ donation, which was around $18,000 at the time. In combination with the Cubs, Xidas’ has raised almost $38,000!

Folks, sometimes dreams come true:

Absolutely beautiful rendition of the anthem! I’ve been to a lot of Cubs games in my day, and I have to say that this sounded like one of the loudest receptions for the national anthem I’ve ever heard at Wrigley Field. And, that’s saying something.

“This is my shining moment right here,” Xidas, 30, said. “It’s been the best time I’ve ever had in my whole life.”

This wasn’t the first time Xidas had sung the anthem in a Major League Baseball (MLB) stadium. He sang the anthem at then-U.S. Cellular Field before a 2005 Chicago White Sox game. The Sox won the World Series that year. Will Xidas’ luck rub off on this year’s playoff-bound Cubs?

“After I sing the national anthem, I told them that the Cubs will definitely go to the playoffs and they will win,” said Xidas. “I will make sure of it.”

I don’t know about everyone else, but I believe you, Stefan!

Before the game, Xidas got a tour of the Cubs clubhouse and even met some of his favorite players, including 2016 National League Most Valuable Player Kris Bryant.

To see the behind-the-scenes of Xidas’ dream coming true, watch below:


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