Mere moments after he took the stage to answer questions on his new 3-year, $26 million deal with the Phillies, Carlos Ruiz made a surprise appearance at an induction ceremony for 6-year-old Aiden Riebel. The ceremony, dedicated to Aiden becoming an honorary volunteer fireman at the Washington Township fire Department, was put together by his family and their local neighborhood. For the third time in his young life, Aiden was diagnosed with Leukemia earlier this year. At an event at the firehouse just months prior to the ceremony, Aiden took an exceptional interest in the department as a whole, and when the volunteers heard his story, they were quick to help honor the boy anyway they could.
In the video, Aiden and his brother Max are placed at the head of the auditorium as Aiden receives a plaque, a helmet, and other special items. Enter Scott Palmer, who gives Aiden and his brother Carlos Ruiz-signed baseballs. He follows with a tease of an appearance by Aiden's favorite player. Moments later, Ruiz walks in to a tremendous ovation. He immediately embraces Max, then gives Aiden a tear-jerking hug. It was an unforgettable experience for everyone involved, and an additional appearance by the Phillie Phanatic only added to the memorable night for Aiden.
You can watch the highlight video and read the entire article here on the Phillies website (story by Paul Casella). The team, along with Aiden's family and the Washington Township Fire Department, did a remarkable job helping honor Aiden, who his mother claims is her hero. It is stories like these that give some reassurance that good still exists in the world.
Everyone here at Philliedelphia hopes for a quick recovery for Aiden in his heroic battle.