Robin Ventura Joins 9-Year-Old Cancer Patient Onstage For ‘A Christmas Carol’

CHICAGO (CBS) — A 9-year-old Chicago cancer patient’s wish was granted Wednesday night at the Goodman Theatre.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding tells us, Emily Beazley made her stage debut alongside a Chicago sports celebrity.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding reports

Emily, 9, of the Mount Greenwood neighborhood, was recently diagnosed with Stage 3 non-Hodgkins lymphoma. It was her wish to act on stage.

“I always wanted to be a in play. I love acting.” she said.

So Emily was awarded a one night-only walk-on role Wednesday night in the Goodman production of “A Christmas Carol,” alongside none other than new White Sox General Manager Robin Ventura.

It was an experience that even Ebenezer Scrooge at his worst couldn’t spoil.
“I couldn’t wait for this day to come,” Emily said.

For Ventura’s part, trading his pale hose pinstripes for a top hat and cape proved a little awkward.
“I was pretty nervous last night,” Ventura said. “These clothes are pretty heavy. There’s a lot going on.”

How much acting experience did he have before Wednesday night?

“Zero, zero experience,” he said.

But Ventura was pleased to have the opportunity.

“This is always fun. Even as a player, I did this. It’s something special we can do for children,” he said.

Since 2007, the Goodman and the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Illinois have come together to provide a special experience for a Chicagoland child who is interested in being onstage.

Now in its 26th year, the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Illinois continues to grant wishes of children with life threatening medical conditions. The Foundation has granted more than 10,000 wishes to children across Illinois.

The Goodman mounts its performance of “A Christmas Carol” during the holidays every year. The Goodman’s version of Charles Dickens classic is an adaptation by dramaturge Tom Creamer, and has been in production since 1989.

“A Christmas Carol” continues through Dec. 31.

  • Chris

    Robin Ventura is truly a great man, We should all be happy is is back in Chicago and a member of our community. When I was 13, I was also diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Robin met with me and my family to help lift my spirits and enspire me to want to help others. 20 years later, I help cancer patients every day. Hang in there Emily! Thanks Robin! Go White Sox!

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