Professional athletes are overpaid, cocky and have no care in the world except for themselves. Right? Many have those views, but this is a story how one of those athletes was selfless and without a doubt has inspired a little boy who faced the ultimate test…cancer.
That’s how many days it’s been without sports and while it has been a struggle it’s not even close to what Levi Delimpo has endured. You see, he was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma and through his love of sports, prayer and unbelievable medical treatment, survived.
But this all started a year prior, in Cincinnati before a Steelers vs Bengals game, where I stumbled upon this moment. I noticed Conner heading towards the stands where players typically sign autographs one last time before a game, but this was more than an autograph signing.
As the sign says, Levi had just finished his last round of chemotherapy and just HAD to come see his favorite player with who he shares an incredible bond. Surviving cancer. I thought it was pretty cool, tweeted it out, thinking this would be a memory the two strangers would cherish. Little did I know the impact.
If my memory serves me correctly, Levi’s mother Tami, reached out to me through social media to thank me and explain how her son was over the moon with the chance encounter. Fast forward a year later.
Mrs Delimpo reached out to me again and said their family were driving to Pittsburgh, from their home in Lexington, Kentucky to watch a Steelers game at Heinz Field. Levi’s first time in the ‘Steel City’ and of course to get another look at #30 do his thing. I reached out to the Steelers PR staff and, through a collaborative effort, was able to arrange the meeting between Levi and Conner where they were able to spend probably five minutes together just talking about their past and how a positive mindset and prayer have helped them both through recovery and beyond.
I’m happy to report after a successful surgery and more than a year later, Levi has “No Evidence of Disease” after the latest scans of his hip. Amazing.
I’ve told hundreds of stories over my career and this might be my favorite. Quarantine and these times are tough, but it’s nothing compared to what Levi has endured and he’s not even 12-years-old.