GLENDALE, Ariz. — Richard Hinojosa has always been a part of the Red Sea since he could remember. A fan of the Arizona Cardinals ever since the team played at Sun Devil Stadium, with his love for the team only continuing to grow over the years.
"It brings excitement to the family and it just brings a lot of joy," Hinojosa said. "It brings the best out of me, my Mom, and my family."
Hinojosa eventually became a season ticket holder once the Cardinals built their new stadium in Glendale back in 2006. He and his family never missed a home game well into 2021, until he noticed he wasn't feeling the same as he once did.
"I didn't have an appetite, I was fairly weak, and my heart rate was a little high at that time," Hinojosa said.
After several visits to the hospital, doctors diagnosed Richard with Leukemia on September 1st. But he never lost faith during this trying time, thanks to his family and close friends.
"My brothers and sisters, they've been here since day one when they first found out," Richard said. "It was unbelievable the way they responded to my disease."
The lifelong Cardinals fan started his chemotherapy treatments while watching the Cardinals from afar, on television. It wasn't until Christmas where he received the best gift of all.
The Arizona Cardinals sent a wide range of gifts to Richard for the holiday including a Cardinals cancer-themed sweatshirt, a Christian Kirk signed helmet, sunglasses, and several other Cardinals-themed gear. Although the most touching gift of all came in the form of a handwritten card from the team itself.
"When I saw that, it really came full circle," Hinojosa said.
"I pulled it out of the bag and it said 'Richard, I heard you were our biggest fan and wanted to let you know you are ours as well. Keep fighting, go Cards, The AZ Cardinals.' I've been such a longtime Cardinal fan, that receiving something like that was very touching."
It was a gesture the entire Hinojosa family will never forget, from a team that rose to the occasion for a fan in need.
"When I read that it was just tears of joy," Hinojosa said."
Those weren't the only happy tears shed though, as just two months after his diagnosis Richard discovered he was cancer-free.
"It was a miracle," Hinojosa said. "It's just unbelievable and the doctors were even surprised by the quick results. Half the battle is really having a positive frame of mind and believing that you'll get through this and never give up."
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