SALISBURY, N.C. -- 19-year-old Stephen Gilmore lives the Panthers' motto: "keep pounding." Stephen pounded through two cancer diagnoses, and never let his illness get in the way of his dreams.
The teenager is facing his third battle with cancer and is currently in hospice. His final wish is to meet his heroes, the Carolina Panthers.
"His lifelong dream is to meet the Panthers," Wendy Gilmore-Baskin, his mom, said.
Stephen was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 3. He beat it. Twelve years later, the doctors found colon cancer. Again, he beat it.
"They said if he made it two years without the cancer coming back they thought he would be okay," Wendy said. "We were cruising along. We passed our two year mark. Then in May, he started having pains again. It came back and this time it's more aggressive."
Wendy has been working tirelessly to make Stephen's dream of meeting the Panthers come true. She says Stephen used his wish with the Make A Wish Foundation when he was 3 years old to go to Disney World. So, she's looking into other foundations that might help Stephen meet the Panthers team.
They even made a video, with the help of Stephen's music therapist, asking the Panthers for a meet and greet.
In response, the Panthers sent Stephen a care package full of Panthers gear and a letter.
"it just made us feel like they knew his battles," Wendy Gilmore-Baskin said. "And that they were in it with him. And that we're all a team and we're all fighting and praying,"
Stephen is using an oxygen machine and has some difficulty speaking due to the cancer. However, he managed to say the panthers were "incredible." He also named several of his favorite players.
Wendy says she will continue to work to help her son achieve his dream of meeting the Panthers.
"He's our Superman he keeps pounding and as long as he keeps pounding we're going to keep pounding with him."
NOTE: Stephen's full name is Robert Stephen Gilmore. For this story, his mother asked that we use Stephen to refer to him.
You can find his Facebook Fan page at Do It Again-- Robert Stephen Gilmore's Journey