AP Photo/Darron Cummings
Fourteen-year-old Miguel Reyes is a die-hard fan of the Chicago Bears, so naturally, he loathes the Green Bay Packers.
Last year, Miguel was diagnosed with brain cancer, but at the urging of his former teacher Peg Kelly, he's named his tumor after his ultimate enemy, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers!
"I said, 'You need to name that tumor so we can kill it,'" Miguel's former teacher (who he now calls "Aunt Peg") tells The Elkhart Truth. "You know what he named it? Rodgers. Aaron Rodgers. What a stinker!"
The Elkhart, Ind., teen has earned the nickname of "Mighty" Miguel as he fights off the tumor. According to the Elkhart Truth, Miguel has lost a significant amount of weight due to nausea and chemotherapy combined with a growth spurt, but that's not slowing him down.
"I love school," he says. "I force myself to go as many days as possible."
According to the paper, the tumor itself has stopped growing, but Miguel's problems with vision, headaches,short-term memory and seizures have persisted.
It was because of these lingering issues that Miguel's Aunt Peg had the idea to buy him a dog. "I knew he was going to be going through a long battle," she tells the Elkhart Truth. "I thought they could train her to alert them if Miguel was in trouble."
The dog, a German Shepherd named Hester after Miguel's favorite Bears players Devin Hester, will hopefully be able to do just that. The family has started a GoFundMe page to raise money for the dog's training, which is expected to cost around $10,000. (Ideally, Hester can be taught to warn Miguel when he's going to have a seizure as well as help him from bumping into things.)
"With him being sick, I'm not working, medical expenses and travel expenses…We don't have the extra money," says Miguel's mother, Christy Reyes.
Already, though, this pooch is proving to be a great teammate for Miguel. As his Aunt Pug tells the Elkhart Truth, Miguel "needs to have someone that he can hold on to, and cry and laugh and talk to...He needs someone that doesn't treat him like he's sick."
Dogs are amazing like that. Miguel recently started his eighth and finally round of chemotherapy which continues into October, the paper reports. We wish him all the best in killing Rodgers (the tumor!) and send good vibes for Hester's service dog training as well.