After a four-year battle with kidney cancer, Cleveland Browns superfan Tom Seipel has passed away at the age of 40.
Seipel began to gain notice in the sports world after fans reached out to the Browns and Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield. After being given little time to live, Seipel passionately wanted to watch his favorite squad take the field during the 2020 season.
He got his wish, getting into the stands in Cleveland to watch the Browns beat the Steelers 24-22 and clinch a playoff berth for the first time since 2002.
Just over 5 weeks later, Seipel has now passed, according to a post made by a close friend on Instagram.
“Hi everyone. This is Tom’s friend, Phil,” the post read. “I wanted to let you know that today Tom’s suffering came to an end and he has entered into Heaven’s gates. He is face to face with his maker. Thank you for loving and supporting my friend as his family through this trying ordeal. #Seipelstrong forever.”
Seipel leaves behind his wife, Margarita, and a six-year-old daughter, Mia. He met Margarita while on a mission trip to Nicaragua, where he spent many years doing social work.
However, his kidney cancer in 2017 required Seipel and his family to move back to the United States. After a few years of treatment, Seipel was put into hospice care, which eventually led to the fan push to get him in the stands.
Baker Mayfield and Tom Seipel
The push to get Seipel to a Browns game hit paydirt thanks to Emily Mayfield, wife of Baker. Upon getting the video to her husband and the Browns, the group was able to make Seipel’s wish come true.
Baker Mayfield then released a video message, saying, “Hey Tom, Baker Mayfield here. Just reading up on your story. You’re extremely inspirational man. You’re a warrior, and just want to say keep fighting.”
Now, after the superfan’s death, Mayfield has responded with understandable heartbreak.
“Rest in peace Tom. Your pure heart will never be forgotten.”
All we can say is that we amplify that sentiment. RIP, Tom Seipel.