Elkton, South Dakota boy meets his NFL hero

Published: Feb. 24, 2019 at 5:58 PM CST
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Jack Stein is a 5th grader in Elkon who loves sports, especially basketball.

"I can still play basketball and baseball and still have fun with my friends," says Jack.

Three years ago, Jack's life changed after a routine wellness check.

"They noticed his spine was curved, so they noticed it was going the wrong way. They did an MRI on his back and they ended up doing one on his brain and it showed he had Chiari Malformation. And then it also showed he had a fluid filled cyst in his spine so it was blocking the flow to his brain," says Jack's mom Stacey VanDyke.

"I thought really that like I don't know why it really happened but I guess it had to happen," says Jack.

Shortly after in May of 2016, then 8-year old Jack Stein...went into surgery.

"He was in a lot of pain. A mom should never have to see that it was horrible," says Stacey.

"The tough part was being in the hospital and just sitting there and doing nothing," says Jack.

Jack's life really brightened up when Make-a-Wish South Dakota granted him any wish.

"Had a team come over and asked him what he wanted to do, and that was meet Odell Beckham. That was the thing he wanted, they said what would be your second pick, it was meet Odell Beckham," says Stacey.

So Jack and his family went to New York to meet the Giants star wide receiver.

"The whole make a wish was amazing. The New York Giants they were amazing. They all came up to him, got to do some plays with them. They were great people. I was in tears when Odell walked out," says Stacey.

"He was really cool, he's a person who likes to interact with people it was fun dancing and stuff with him. Eli Manning and Saquon Barkley came over and Eli said can I throw you a pass and I said yeah, so I ran a route against Saquon Barkley. You think to yourself that was awesome and it's once in a lifetime," says Jack.