Lifestyle & Human Interest

NFL Star Larry Fitzgerald Helps Age 9 Boy Celebrate End of Cancer Treatments


Not all of us get to meet our heroes, but one little boy from Platte, South Dakota, has become fast friends with Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals.

It started under less-than-ideal circumstances but has turned into a story of hope and friendship.

In 2017, Tennyson Erickson was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

He’s received care at the Sanford Children’s Castle of Care Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

“On February 2, 2017, Tennyson was diagnosed with high risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) and is currently undergoing treatment,” the Sanford Children’s Miracle Network shared on May 7.

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“Tennyson loves everyone he interacts with at the Castle of Care — the staff is more than just his doctors, nurses, etc., they have become his friends and have made this part of Tennyson’s journey so much better not only for him, but his family too!”

In 2018, as part of Make-A-Wish and ESPN’s My Wish efforts, the then-7-year-old got to meet his idol, Larry Fitzgerald.

The surprise came when Fitzgerald invited him to come to Arizona to meet him.

Tennyson even got his own custom Cardinals jersey so he could blend in with the team.

The boy got to participate in the team’s mini-camp practice and a media day photo shoot. And he got to score a touchdown on the last day of the camp, according to the Cardinals team website.

Since then, Tennyson has attended several Cardinals games in Minnesota, and remained a steadfast and loyal fan, despite enduring 21 spinal taps, 10 different chemotherapies, three ER visits, three blood transfusions, three bone aspirations and two surgeries, KNXV-TV reported.

But on May 28, he got to do something every cancer patient dreams of doing: He got to ring the bell.

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Tennyson had completed 1,206 days in treatment and got to celebrate at Stanford Children’s Castle of Care Hospital.

Fitzgerald was there in spirit if not in person, and made sure the world knew he was proud of his biggest little fan.

“Congrats to one of my heroes,” he shared, along with photos from the 2018 photo shoot. “After 1,206 days of treatment, 10 rounds of chemo, & 34 nights in the hospital, my guy Tennyson Erickson rang the bell signaling he is done with treatment and CANCER FREE!”

“You’re a warrior full of strength and courage and an inspiration to us all!”

“Tennyson Erickson celebrated the end of his cancer treatment with a bell ring at Sanford Children’s Castle of Care Hospital in Sioux Falls, and Larry Fitzgerald wouldn’t have missed it for the world,” the Cardinals shared on Sunday.

The 9-year-old boy got to have a Zoom call with the famed football player as well, and no doubt the two will keep in touch — after all, Tennyson told him in 2018 that he wants to become a football player, too.

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