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7-year-old who has completed chemotherapy gets the surprise of his life when he goes to the Philadelphia Phillies’ opening day

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – How strong is the power of kindness? You can ask 7-year-old Sam, a Philadelphia Phillies fan, who in an act of complete kindness scored Opening Day tickets and an unforgettable experience from a stranger.

Zachery Dereniowski, or @mdmotivator as his 5.4 million Instagram followers know him, made it his life’s mission three years ago to give back to the world through small acts of kindness, at a time when the world needed most.

Dereniowski was studying medicine at the University of Sydney during the pandemic when he started making inspirational videos on social media. Since then, Dereniowski has carved out a specific niche for himself in which he surprises deserving strangers with monetary donations, tickets to sports games, and support they might need. In August 2021, he withdrew from medical school to pursue his career of catalyzing kindness full-time.

Flash forward to last week, Dereniowski posted on his Instagram Story that he would be in the Philadelphia area and asked his followers if he should surprise anyone while he was in town. Sam’s mother, Lauren, contacted Dereniowski and told her about her 7-year-old son who had just undergone brain cancer surgery in January and was eager to attend Opening Day.

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In fact, some of Samuel’s first words after his surgery were, “Mom, can we get tickets to the Opening Day Phillies?”

Dereniowski and Lauren organized a surprise for Samuel while he held a lemonade stand to raise money for tickets to the Phillies home opener one afternoon last week.

In the video above you see the two meet for the first time while enjoying a cup of lemonade. Samuel says that he had an operation in January and that he is completely done with chemotherapy. Dereniowski then surprises the 7-year-old with the gift of a young life, $1,000 cash and opening day tickets on behalf of the MLB.

Dereniowski, Sam, Lauren, Samuel’s father and sister were all in attendance on Opening Day, where they were met with many surprises thanks to the Phillies organization, including time on the field and a meet-and-greet with first base coach Paco Figueroa, pitcher Spencer Turnbull, the Fanatic and more!

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Dereniowski said he was impressed by how strong Samuel was and that seeing the seven-year-old’s dream come true in person was amazing and elusive. Through his work, he hopes to create a real ripple effect of kindness, one video at a time.

So while he didn’t ultimately earn his MD, you could say from the positive response and social media engagement that Dereniowski did become something of a Doctor of Kindness.

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