Indiana teenager Miguel Reyes was diagnosed with a brain tumor last year, but he's got a sound strategy to beat it: Name the sucker "Aaron Rodgers."
Reyes, 14, is a diehard Chicago Bears fan, so he decided to start calling his tumor the name of the All-Pro Green Bay Packers quarterback as motivation to keep fighting against it, according to local Indiana paper The Elkhart Truth.
And it's working, too. Slowly but surely, Reyes has progressed in his matchup against "Aaron Rodgers." "Mighty Miguel" has endured weight loss and nausea from chemotherapy treatments, but the tumor has stopped growing. While the teenage Bears fan has sacked his tumor, he still deals with vision problems, headaches, short-term memory loss and seizures.
He got the idea to name the tumor from a middle school teacher who just happens to be a Packers fan. Peg Kelly, Reyes' former teacher at Concord Junior High School, told The Elkart Truth that their friendship began when Reyes told her, "The Packers suck."
Reyes, now a freshman in high school, has remained close to Kelly during his treatments, dubbing her "Aunt Peg."
“I said, ‘You need to name that tumor so we can kill it,’” Kelly told The Elkhart Truth. “You know what he named it? Rodgers. Aaron Rodgers. What a stinker!”
The real Aaron Rodgers doesn't seem to know about Reyes' name choice yet, but Reyes and his friends and family are continuing their battle with or without the quarterback's two cents.
For her part, Kelly has been full of ideas to help Reyes' fight. After all, Reyes can't beat Aaron Rodgers by himself. Football is a team sport, and so is the Reyes family's fight against his tumor. To help keep Reyes company, she bought him a dog, which he named "Hester" after former All-Pro Bears kick returner Devin Hester.
“He needs to have someone that he can hold on to, and cry and laugh and talk to,” said Christy Reyes, Miguel's mother. “He needs someone that doesn’t treat him like he’s sick.”
The family plans to train Hester, a 13-month-old German shepherd, to detect seizures and also act as a guide dog, because Reyes' spotty vision leaves him bumping into things at times.
While Hester trains, Reyes is working on dealing "Aaron Rodgers" -- the tumor -- a final blow. The Elkart Truth reports that he started his eighth and final round of chemotherapy last week, which will continue over the next month.
Go get 'em, Miguel.
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