Air Force captain surprises mom battling cancer at Bucs game
TAMPA (FOX 13) - Fans witnessed an emotional moment during the second quarter of the Bucs game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday afternoon.
A military mother fighting Stage 4 breast cancer was honored, and saw a video message on the big screen in Raymond James Stadium from her son, who’s currently serving in Alaska.
“Hey mom. I wish I could be with you today, but I am currently serving our country in Alaska,” U.S. Air Force Captain Joshua Gunderson said in the video. “Keep fighting, mom, and go Bucs,” he added.
But as the video played, she had no idea about an even bigger surprise coming her way. Captain Gunderson was waiting in the wings to give his mom Reina a big hug, and a beautiful bouquet of pink flowers.
Just as the video ended, he snuck up behind her and tapped her on the shoulder. She turned around in complete shock, and then the two wrapped their arms around one another.
Happy tears fell from mom’s eyes and Captain Gunderson was all smiles, a successful surprise now added to his list of accomplishments.
It was the first time in almost a year that he'd been home.
Florida cancer specialists helped make the moment possible.
The surprise came hours after the Buccaneers' third annual Treasure Chests 5K run in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.