A Massachusetts teenager who is driving to make the time he has left matter will cross a big item off his bucket list next weekend when he sees the Patriots play in the Super Bowl.
Jake Silver, an 18-year-old from Ashland, is battling a rare form of cancer. He put together a bucket list, and the community has rallied around him to make sure he accomplishes every wish.
Sunday, with the Patriots' AFC Championship victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, Silver learned his Super Bowl trip would be extra special.
U.S. & World
"I get to see the Pats in the Super Bowl! I get to see the Pats in the Super Bowl!" he exclaimed in a video posted by his mother, Melissa Duca, in the "Team Jake" Facebook group. The family watched with excitement as New England won in overtime.
Three years ago, Silver was diagnosed with an aggressive form of bone cancer called osteosarcoma. After 35 rounds of chemotherapy and 15 surgeries, he was getting ready for another one this month when he received devastating news.
"They said, 'We can't do the surgery. You have, like, 20 plus tumors on your lung,'" Silver said. "They said I have three to six months left."
Some would see it as the end, but Silver sees it as an opportunity.
"When I found I didn't have a lot of time left, I was like, 'Alright, Yellowstone.'"
The cross-country road trip is just part of Silver's bucket list. It is not long, but it includes things like having his first kiss and attending as many sports games as possible, including the Super Bowl.
His mom posted the list online in the Team Jake group, and she could not believe the response she received from the community.
"The amount of people that have been reaching out to me, people we don't know, it's incredible," Melissa Duca said. "We're just trying to get it all done now so we have the memories."
Silver has already accomplished some of his items. He saw the Patriots' first playoff game against the Chargers, and planned to see the Celtics Wednesday. He recently helped his little sister, Halle, pick out her prom dress.
"Once I realized he wasn't going to make it to my wedding, I was like, 'Let's get my prom dress,'" his sister said.
He also hopes to meet Tom Brady and The Rock, and see the new Lion King movie before it is released because he does not think he will make it until the summer.
He cannot fly due to the conditions of his lungs, but he is confident he will cross off every item on the list. The community is already helping him. They are selling orange bows for $20 a piece to help raise money for him to make the trips. They can be seen all over Ashland.
"Any slight chance of doing something, I'm going to take it," Silver said. "And I just want to say thank you."