Dunkirk’s Mason Schrantz, who was diagnosed with Stage IV lymphoma in December 2017, signed a one-day contract with the Buffalo Bills on Friday and was named their honorary captain for the Return of the Blue & Red scrimmage.
Schrantz, now 12, was brought in front of the team to cheers with his father and brother by coach Sean McDermott. The coach joked that he asked Schrantz whose place he wanted to take in the scrimmage and Schrantz said wide receiver Stefon Diggs.
Schrantz was coughing and his face was swollen in December 2017 when his father brought him to the emergency room. A chest X-ray showed a tumor that size of a football that blocked the artery from his head to his heart. Schrantz had only days to to live had he not received medical treatment.
People are also reading…
Schrantz was treated at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and the John R. Oshei Children’s Hospital. A year later, having won his battle, Schrantz was invited to light the Tree of Hope at Roswell. He also went Christmas shopping with Bills safety Jordan Poyer.
BREAKING NEWS: We’re excited to announce we’ve signed Mason Schrantz to a one-day contract.Our honorary captain will be on the field tonight for the Return of the Blue & Red Practice! 🤗 #BillsMafia pic.twitter.com/VgLdcosT0L
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) August 5, 2022
When invited to speak to the team, he had little to say, but his father noted how his son was inspired by the Bills’ magical appearance in the playoffs in the 2017 season to end the drought. The Bills got into the playoffs when Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Baltimore Ravens late on the final Sunday of the regular season.
“We want you guys to fight like he did,” Dominic Schrantz told the team. “We watched some of your games in the hospital and you beat the Dolphins to make it to the playoffs in the first year. … That was a turning point.”
Schrantz got to lead the Bills in a “1-2-3 Bills” chant and shook hands with his teammates for the day.