FRISCO - Following FC Dallas’ resilient 1-1 draw on Saturday against the Rapids, there was another show of resiliency that served as inspiration for everyone involved.
17-year Brian Gramajo, who has been diagnosed with Lymphoma, met FC Dallas midfielder Ryan Hollingshead and enjoyed a postgame visit to the Toyota Stadium pitch with his family.
Brian is a member of Ryan’s NEGU Crew. NEGU stands for “Never Ever Give Up”, a mantra embraced by the Jessie Rees Foundation, an organization that ensures children fighting cancer have the support and resources they need to never ever give up.
“It was amazing him and his family,” Ryan told me after the game. “They’ve obviously been through a lot. He wasn’t going to let cancer beat him and he’s continued to fight. He’s at a great stage now.”
“It felt really good,” Brian said about his postgame meeting with Ryan. “It felt like I was a player and part of the team.”
“It means a lot,” Brian’s mother, Laritza said. “It was great. It was awesome to be here with FC Dallas.”
Brian has battled Lymphona twice and won. Something not lost on an athlete like Ryan who admitted the 17-year old Allen native is an inspiration.
Ryan will host a child with cancer at three more matches in 2018 in conjunction with the Jesse Rees Foundation’s NEGU Crew.