When Aaron steps onto a football field, he feels alive. The 17-year-old boy from Quincy soars between the yard lines, emboldened by his pursuit of athletic excellence.
Just two years ago, Aaron's contests on the field were replaced by a more serious battle – with a form of cancer called lymphoma. Chemotherapy weakened Aaron, leaving him too frail to play. His dreams of high school football were sidelined...until Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island® entered his world.
As Aaron recovered from a bone marrow transplant, he sought inspiration from his favorite player, University of Texas quarterback Colt McCoy. Aaron wished to watch his hero play - in person - at the Bowl Championship Series national title game in Pasadena, California.
Last month, Aaron's wish became reality. Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island® sent Aaron, his parents, and his older sister to the West Coast for the big game. Aaron received VIP treatment, roaming the sidelines and the field at Rose Bowl stadium during player practices. He watched a taping of an ESPN pre-game show and posed with commentators at the official ESPN desk.
On January 7th, Aaron had a prime seat when Colt McCoy took the field. He watched his role model in awe. “He taught me to fight and never give up,” Aaron said. “Just like he fights through the season, I fight through cancer.”
The Texas Longhorns lost the big game, but in the stands, Aaron boasted a personal victory. Today, he is ready – determined to return to the field he calls home.
Photo: Aaron in the stands during a taping for ESPN