News 12 at 11 / Tuesday, April 9, 2014
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) --It was a pretty perfect day for a father and his son.
"One I'll remember forever. His first trip to the Masters," father Chris Thompson said.
He was tired, worn out, and smiling ear to ear when News 12 caught up with Thompson's 9-year-old son Christopher as they were leaving through Gate 6.
"I've never seen this place before. I love it. This is my first year here," Christopher said.
Tuesday was a day of firsts for Thompson.
"I've never been down this road," the 9-year-old said, pointing down Berckman's Road.
He might not have traveled down Berckman's, but Christopher has had quite the journey. For three years, he's been fighting for his life trying to shrink a massive tumor in his brain.
"Four brain surgeries, three rounds of chemo. Happy to be alive," summed up his dad.
Thanks to the generosity of a stranger, Tuesday the happiness reached another level.
"A great guy named Michael presented Chris with two tickets," Chris explained. "With medical bills and expenses, missing work, things of that nature, you have to prioritize and unfortunately this is not in the list of things to pay for at the moment."
"I was so excited. I was so happy. I've been begging to go for a long time," Christopher said with excitement.
At Tuesday's practice round, dreams became a reality, even though Christopher agreed The National's grass doesn't seem real.
"It is awesome. The grass feels good. The grass is really beautiful," he said.
"We saw Phil Mickelson earlier. Watched Bubba Watson come through on 8," listed his dad.
"I went to go see the scoreboard, which is like way back over there somewhere, back where the golf players walk," Christopher said, remembering the course.
"You know, we thought we'd never be here considering all the issues he's been through, so today was a great day," said his dad.
A lot of people never think they'll make it through those coveted gates, but Christopher and his dad are grateful not only for a day at Augusta National, but for a day simply to be alive.
Christopher's last scan showed his tumor has shrunk, so with that room, Tuesday was about filling his brain with memories.