We have an early contender for best Father's Day gift of the year, and it will be pretty tough for anyone else to beat.
Matt Lea from Melbourne, Florida had a special reason to make this Father's Day count.
His dad, Billy, has Alzheimer's disease. But while Lea says Billy's condition is "setting in fast," he guarantees his father is "going to have a blast this weekend."
The Final Trip
Lea surprised his father with what he calls their "final trip" together.
He says that Billy is "on his final leg with Alzheimer's," but he wanted to make "a last memory together" with a special trip.
Lea drove 12 hours to surprise his mother and father at their home in Flowood, Mississippi, and caught their surprised reaction on video.
Surprised my dad today to tell him I’m taking him to Omaha to watch @HailStateBB play. His Alzheimer’s is setting in fast but I know he’s going to have a blast this weekend. Hail State!!! pic.twitter.com/NTtAxcxxIj— Matt Lea (@tigr2ndbase) June 14, 2018
But he had more than an unexpected visit in mind, holding out a Mississippi State baseball jersey to his dad.
“I figured it’s probably not good enough just for us to watch the game here,” he explained.
“How about we go to Omaha? Do you want to go to Omaha and watch the College World Series together?”
Billy was immediately overwhelmed by his son's special gift.
"You're gonna break my heart here," he said, choking back tears.
"Dad jumped out of bed this morning"
The last trip to the College World Series to cheer on the Mississippi State Athletics is an especially meaningful one for Billy.
He was a player on the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the 1960s.
Sports fans have been following Matt and Billy's trip as they share sweet photos of their progress on Twitter.
"Here we come Omaha," Matt shared.
"Thanks again to everyone. Dad jumped out of bed this morning and is in a great mood."
The College World Series has already reached out to Matt asking for his schedule, so there could be another surprise in store for the pair.
Total strangers have even offered to cover Matt and Billy's travel costs, but the Leas say they would prefer donations to the Cure Alzheimer's Fund instead.
While the pair are only scheduled to see the opening weekend of the series (so far) Matt says it's going to be "a great final trip for us."
Read more uplifting Father's Day stories:
- Dad and daughter bond over their adorable photos in silly costumes.
- 23-year-old becomes a father and a grandfather in the same week.
- Dad shares emotional letter about his bullied son.