WATCH: 10-year-old cancer survivor gives Saints quarterback Taysom Hill an unforgettable introduction
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IDAHO FALLS — It was a moment of a lifetime for Graham Schanz.
Standing before hundreds of people with loud music playing, the 10-year-old walked on stage, took a breath and, with a loud booming voice, introduced one of his favorite athletes.
“For the millions watching around the world, it’s Taysom time!” Graham said. “The pride of Pocatello Idaho! Former BYU Cougar! Standing at 6’2″, number 7, future Superbowl Champion, the Swiss Army Knife! Taaaaaaaysooooom Hiiiillllll!”
The crowd went wild as New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill walked on stage and greeted Graham.
“He gave Graham a bro hug like he was an athlete. Taysom’s the best dude around and it was a dream come true,” says Nathan Schanz, Graham’s dad.
The memorable moment happened Saturday night. Schanz’s brother owns Alder Security and invited Hill, a Highland High School graduate, to speak to his employees in Utah.
Graham is a sports fanatic and has followed Hill’s football career since he played for BYU from 2012-2016. While watching football, basketball, baseball and other games on TV over the years, Graham has introduced athletes with his best announcer voice.
“My uncle called me Friday night and asked if I wanted to introduce Taysom,” Graham tells EastIdahoNews.com. “I knew that I couldn’t turn it down because it’s what I’ve been dreaming of my entire life.”
Graham wrote down what he planned to say and admits he was a little nervous. He’s done introductions in front of his family at home but has never welcomed a famous athlete in front of hundreds of cheering spectators.
“I wasn’t sure how it was going to go because he’s never been on stage so I was really happy with how he did it,” Schanz says. “He seemed to show a lot of enthusiasm and stage presence. He had a good time and got to meet one of his heroes.”
The Schanz’s live in Utah but have a home in Rigby. Saturday night was extra special because the family has overcome multiple health challenges over the year.
His mother, Sadie, was diagnosed with brain cancer five years ago and when Graham was a baby, he spent seven months at Primary Children’s Hospital with acute myeloid leukemia.
“One day he code-blued where he had no heartbeat and was not breathing for seven minutes,” Schanz recalls. “The doctor did chest compressions and they brought him back but it was quite the scare.”
Sadie and Graham beat their cancer but two years ago, Graham’s sister, Capri, was born twelve weeks early weighing 2 lbs. 2 ounces. She spent 55 days in the NICU before going home and is now doing fine.
The family is proud of Graham’s vocal talent and Hill was so impressed that he posted about it on Instagram.
“Of all the introductions I’ve received, last night may have been my all-time favorite,” Hill wrote. “10-year-old cancer survivor Graham Schanz came up with this introduction all on his own and nailed it with the delivery. This kid definitely has a future in announcing!”
Graham hopes his sports announcing career is just beginning and would love to one day introduce Damien Lillard, LeBron James, Donovan Mitchell and Zach Wilson.
“I’ve dreamed about meeting the players and it’s so fun to blurt out their names as loud as you can,” Graham says. “I’m so glad I could meet Taysom. He was really nice and made me feel really cool.”