Kalen’s wish was to be a Sporting KC player.
Kalen has battled bone cancer since being diagnosed in December 2015, when he underwent his first of 13 surgeries over the last three years. In 2016, reoccurring tumors were discovered near his left elbow on two separate occasions and in 2017, the cancer spread to his left wrist.
This year, Ricketson’s left arm was amputated between the shoulder and the elbow in response to new tumor growth. The Victory Project helped cover costs incurred by the family for the procedure and, in May, Ricketson graduated from Meridian Technology Center with a certificate in computer networking.
In July, Ricketson learned his cancer had returned when a chest CT scan revealed tumors in his lungs, requiring right lung surgery on July 16 and left lung surgery on Aug. 21.
Sporting Kansas City signed Kalen to a contract on Saturday, September 29 before the club took on Real Salt Lake on Sunday, September 30 at Children’s Mercy Park. Kalen participated in all aspects of the game as a team member, including watching the game from the best seat in the house – the team bench.