Transplant recipient and donor family who are fans of opposing teams throw out ...

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Sports rivalries were put aside for one day as a Milwaukee Brewers fan met a family of supporters that is very close to his heart, in more ways that one. 

Tom Schroeder, 62, of Cedarburg, Wisconsin, was in heart failure for four years after a virus left him with irreparable damage.

He received a life-saving heart transplant in August 2018 and, three months later, wrote a letter to the family of his donor, 32-year-old Josh Holland. 

Holland's mother, Melanie Cook, wrote back a month later, telling him all about who Holland was and the sorts of activities he'd loved. 

Schroeder, who is a Brewers fan, learned from the letter that Holland and his family are fans of the - his beloved team's division rivals. 

But that gave him an idea for the perfect way to bring them together: Shroeder asked if Cook and her family would be willing to meet at a baseball game, and she agreed.

Cameras rolled as Schroeder and Cook met in the stands on September 7 and shared hugs and tears.

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Tom Schroeder, 62, of Cedarburg, Wisconsin, met the family of his heart donor, Joshua Holland, for the first time at Milwaukee Brewers-Chicago Cubs game on September 7. Pictured: Schroeder hugs Holland's mom, Melanie Cook

Tom Schroeder, 62, of Cedarburg, Wisconsin, met the family of his heart donor, Joshua Holland, for the first time at Milwaukee Brewers- game on September 7. Pictured: Schroeder hugs Holland's mom, Melanie Cook

Schroeder went into heart failure in 2015 after a virus attacked his heart and left it with irreparable damage.  Pictured: Schroeder, left, with Holland's niece, Jerzie Wilkerson, at the game

Schroeder went into heart failure in 2015 after a virus attacked his heart and left it with irreparable damage.  Pictured: Schroeder, left, with Holland's niece, Jerzie Wilkerson, at the game

He was admitted into a hospital in June 2018 and bumped to the top of the transplant list. Pictured: Schroeder in the hospital, left, with his wife, one month before his transplant

He was admitted into a hospital in June 2018 and bumped to the top of the transplant list. Pictured: Schroeder in the hospital, left, with his wife, one month before his transplant 

Schroeder said that his heart troubles began in August 2015 when he woke up in the middle of the night feeling short of breath.

'I just propped up a pillow, went back to sleep and went to work the next day,' he told DailyMail.com.

Although Schroeder wasn't too worried, he decided to pay a visit to the doctor the next day after work.

'The doctor made me go to the hospital and they told me my left ventricle (lower chamber) was expanded a lot and I was in heart failure,' he said.

The then-58-year-old was in disbelief.  He didn't smoke and he ate a relatively healthy diet.

He went to another hospital, where doctors confirmed the diagnosis.

'I [didn't understand because I] was feeling well, doing good,' Schroeder said. 'The floor drops out from under you when you hear that. You don't know what to expect.'

Doctors told him that it was caused by a virus, but the virus itself hasn't been identified, even in his medical records.

Slowly, Schroeder's condition worsened until, last year, he was admitted to Aurora St Luke's Medical Center hospital to have a balloon pump inserted.

The balloon pump is a mechanical device that helps the heart pump more blood throughout the body. 

It bumped to Schroeder to the top of the transplant list.  

'I was in the hospital for 50 days and I remember the nurse came crying into room one day saying: "We got you a heart",' he said. 

'I was anxious to get over it with and elated things were going to happen.'

The heart belonged to 32-year-old Joshua (Josh) Holland. 

A match for Schroeder was found in August 2018 after the death of Holland (pictured), 32, of Streator, Illinois

A match for Schroeder was found in August 2018 after the death of Holland (pictured), 32, of Streator, Illinois

Holland was described by his friends and family as jokester, generous and a great hugger

Holland was described by his friends and family as jokester, generous and a great hugger 

Holland's mother, Melanie Perry Cook, described him as generous, a great hugger with a mischievous sense of humor - and a dark side.   

'He was a joker, but he was also hiding a lot of demons,' she told DailyMail.com. 

'He had this way about him, something sarcastic would come out of his mouth and he would raise his eyebrow. 

The floor drops out from under you when you hear [you're in heart failure.] You don't know what to expect.

Tom Schroeder, heart transplant recipient 

'He was just Josh. I miss so many things about him; the list is endless.' 

Holland was a father to a one-year-old girl named Rhian and was like a father to his 17-year-old niece Jerzie Wilkerson after his brother, Ryan, died when he was accidentally hit by a train.

'When I was younger, every time I visited home, I

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