Larry Fitzgerald grinned ear to ear as he virtually watched nine-year-old, Tennyson Erickson, perform a floss dance alongside his family, friends, and hospital staff, celebrating his final treatment in his enervating battle against Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
The longtime Cardinals fan had a dream come true two years ago when the Make-A-Wish Foundation brought Erickson to Tempe to meet WR Larry Fitzgerald and take part in the Cardinals’ mini-camp at the training facility. The Erickson family kept in touch with the organization, including attending multiple Cardinals games in Minnesota and Arizona.
Following 1,206 days in-treatment, ten different chemo therapies, 34 nights in the hospital, and three bone aspirations, Erickson, from Platte, SD, completed his treatment on Thursday. Erickson wore his #11 Larry Fitzgerald jersey as he rung the celebratory bell at Sanford Children’s Castle of Care Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD, signifying his victory. Fitzgerald secretly observed from a Zoom call from the sidelines.
Congrats to one of my heroes. 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! pic.twitter.com/adgsKXUpnK
— Larry Fitzgerald (@LarryFitzgerald) May 29, 2020
Following Erickson’s floss dance, the staff waved the victor over as they unveiled the surprise that his favorite athlete was watching along in the celebration. As they chatted, Fitzgerald promised he’d make another visit to see the Erickson family again when the time was right to participate in the celebration of his final treatment.
WHY I LOVE SPORTS: Tonight on ESPN’s “My Wish” series (6 p.m. ET, ESPN) @LarryFitzgerald & @AZCardinals spend time with Tennyson Erickson a 7-yr old from Platte, South Dakota who is battling cancer @NFL pic.twitter.com/OwSKr4TGnG
— Molly Mita (@mollymita) July 17, 2018
Erickson was diagnosed in February of 2017 and his journey to Arizona with the Make-A-Wish Foundation was aired on ESPN, part of the network’s ‘My Wish’ series, in June of last year.
“I missed you, man, I’m so happy for you, I’m so happy to be here it see you ring the bell. I know it’s been a long, long journey for you, but I think everybody around you can be there to celebrate and tell you just how special of a young man you are,” Fitzgerald told Tennyson. “I’m always thinking about you, and you continue to keep fighting, man.”