Thursday, October 15, 2009

Another reason to root for Cincinnati

I've followed Brian Kelly's career arc ever since I was a student at Grand Valley State and he was in the process of turning the school's football team into a Division II juggernaut that would win back-to-back national titles in his final two years, so I've enjoyed watching him take Cincinnati to unprecedented heights.

But that pales in comparison with what the family of 12-year-old Mitch Stone must feel. Mitch has brain cancer, and the New York Times explains exactly why he's now a Bearcats fan:
Cincinnati became the first Football Bowl Subdivision team to “adopt” a child through Friends of Jaclyn, which matches pediatric brain tumor patients with sports teams, mostly from colleges.

Dee Stone said her family — which includes her husband, Anthony, and daughters Paisley, 15, and Piper, 13 — did not know what to expect in July when they arrived at the Cincinnati football complex. She said she thought only a few players and coaches would be involved. Instead, the 105-member team, and all the coaches and support staffers, gave Mitch a standing ovation.
It gets better: When Mitch was hospitalized, the players left so many voicemails and sent so many text messages to his mom that they ended up buying him his own cell phone to make things easier. Mitch sends the players Bible verses that they write on their arms before games, and they wear "Mitch's Mission" wristbands to remind themselves of his plight.

There's a lot more to the article, but I don't want to steal everything; just read it. You've probably heard dozens of similar feel-good stories, but stuff like this never fails to give me goosebumps.

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