Michigan goes all out to give cancer-fighting fan best day ever
JUN 26, 2014 10:45a ET
Stephen Loszewski has forever rooted for the Michigan Wolverines, an allegiance he took from his father.
So when the Make-A-Wish Foundation told Stephen a few months ago to submit the best wish he could think of -- he's been battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer of the bone marrow, for three-and-a-half years -- his choice was pretty obvious.
He wanted to be a Michigan football recruit.
The wheels were set in motion. From mlive.com:
A few weeks back, Jake Long knocked on Loszewski's door. The current St. Louis Rams offensive tackle and former Michigan Wolverine arrived armed with letters from U-M coaches to begin the recruiting process. The two sat in the family living room talking about football and life and everything in between.
"When Jake Long came to my house, I basically left myself open to just about anything that could happen," he said.
Then came this past Tuesday, which brought more than Loszewski could ever imagine.
He and his family were called to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to spend a day with the Wolverines. Stephen's parents, Kristi and Greg, knew what was ahead, but their son had no idea.
Loszewski's Tuesday consisted of a tour of Michigan's facilities, a film session with U-M coaches, a one-on-one meeting with head coach Brady Hoke, lunch with a few current players, including quarterback Devin Gardner and linebacker Jake Ryan, and a meeting with athletic director Dave Brandon.
The tours and conversations all built up to a storybook afternoon.
Around 4 p.m., an echo reverberated out to the field of Michigan Stadium. Hooting and hollering rang from the tunnel. Up in the shadows, where the Wolverines' locker room leads to the field, Stephen Loszewski jumped and bounced and bonded with the entire University of Michigan football team.
Wearing a blue jersey -- No. 57, LOSZEWSKI -- U-M's top recruit led the team onto field.
Loszewski, 18, played football growing up before getting sick, and here he was again on a football field, with a new set of teammates gathered around.
At the 50-yard line in Michigan Stadium, he addressed the Wolverines. "I want to do battle with you gentlemen," Loszewski said.
Later, in a media room, the team sat down their "recruit" and had to make it official. On a table sat four hats: Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State and Notre Dame. It was time for Loszewski to commit.
"I want to say, this decision could not have been less difficult," Loszewski said, picking up the Michigan hat. "I'm going to go with the Big Blue."
The best part of this story?
Clean cells have been found in Loszewski's blood, and he is officially in remission.
On July 24, he'll return to the hospital for his "cure date," signifying he's been in remission long enough to officially be determined cancer-free.
"It's amazing what people have done for my little old son," his father said.