Charlotte FC midfielder surprises 10-year-old cancer survivor after battle of his own

CHARLOTTE — By now, you’ve likely heard about a special exchange at the end of Charlotte FC’s home opener.

LA Galaxy midfielder Sacha Kljestan gave a jersey to Chris Hegardt when he was battling cancer back in 2010. Last weekend, Hegardt, a Charlotte FC rookie midfielder, gave Kljestan his jersey in return.

Now, we’ve learned Hegardt also surprised a 10-year-old boy who fought his own battle against cancer. The young soccer fan had a chance to live a day in the life of an MLS player. He met head coach Miguel Ángel Ramírez, got some Charlotte FC swag, and even had an impromptu soccer practice.

“He genuinely wanted to spend some time with Liam, he wanted to take him on the pitch and kick some balls with him, he wanted to engage him,” his mom said. “It was more than just ‘I have this thing I have to do and I’m going to get it done and get out.’”

>> Channel 9 Sports Director Phil Orban has the full story of the surprise on Eyewitness News starting at 5 p.m.

(WATCH BELOW: First-year Charlotte FC sets MLS crowd record in home debut)

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