When Seahawks fans learned of a fellow fan in need, they responded in Beast Mode.
The News Tribune reported Saturday that neighbors in Ruston were organizing an online fundraising drive to send an ailing Sherri Forch — a Seahawks fan since the team’s first 1976 season who had never been to a game — to the Jan. 10 NFC divisional playoff game in Seattle.
After reading Forch’s story, fans offered donations of cash, tickets to the game and more.
Forch, 71, sent an electronic copy of the article to her son, Hal, a retired Army veteran who lives in Arizona.
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He called his mom in Ruston on Saturday morning and asked her whether she knew that the game would be “loud — and cold.” Forch, who has been coping with an autoimmune disease called scleroderma for 20 years, has trouble keeping warm because of the disease. She needs an oxygen tank to breathe, and a wheelchair if she has to go far.
Forch said she understood that attending a game at CenturyLink Field means she’d have to bundle up.
That’s when her son told her he had read the story, gone online and bought two tickets in the handicap section of CenturyLink Field. The seats are under a roof — and on the 50-yard line.
Meanwhile, a total of 21 online donors had raised just over $750. At least three other fans were ready to offer up tickets to Forch. One has arranged for a limo to pick up Forch and friend Sara Anderson, a medic with the Ruston Fire Department who will accompany Forch to the game as her assistant.
“I am in orbit, over the moon, just blessing the universe from one end to the other,” Forch said Saturday night.
Her friend Karen Pickett, who organized the fundraising, said the response from fans was “overwhelming.”
Pickett said Saturday that she would cut off the online fundraising and use the money raised to help offset expenses for Forch’s son and to help Forch afford some stadium food during the game.
Forch said she’ll spend the week getting ready, hunting down her goosedown jacket, rain slicker and mukluk boots.
“Gratitude is such a wonderful emotion, and I’m feelin’ it,” she added.