ABC News’ Josh Elliott reports:
As an offensive lineman for the Florida State University football team, Michael Scheerhorn, a sophomore, knows how physical the game can be.
But for 12-year-old Jayden Laspada, a lifelong Seminoles fan who suffers from Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, it’s Scheerhorn’s strength of character that stands out.
It turns out that like Laspada, Scheerhorn’s brother, Daniel, was also diagnosed with cancer at a young age and Scheerhorn saw first-hand what it means to fight the disease and overcome odds.
“My brother is lucky as he can be,” Scheerhorn told ABC News. “He’s 22-years-old now, thriving in college and doing all these great things. And there’s people that weren’t as fortunate and lost a child, lost a brother, child, something, and that changed me.”
So when it came to tonight’s BCS title game between FSU and Auburn, Scheerhorn decided to allocate two of his personal tickets to Laspada and her mother, Jenny, making the girl’s dream come true of being able to attend the big game.
And to make sure their expenses were taken care of, Scheerhorn took to the Internet, raising more than $12,000 for Laspada’s family.
“The fact that I’m in the position to do something special for somebody who has gone through the same hell that we have, it really blew me away,” Scheerhorn explained.
The moment Laspada and her mom met Scheerhorn for the first time at the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena, Calif., he told them how happy he was to have them in attendance.
“This is Jayden’s first Seminole game,” her mother, Jenny, said.
“Really?,” Scheerhorn replied. “Wow. Glad you got to come to this one.”
Laspada was thrilled for the opportunity, saying it was “really, really cool” to meet Scheerhorn because she’d never met any “famous” football players before.
“It’s uplifting and it makes me feel loved,” she added about all her supporters that helped her combat her illness and make this trip a possibility.
Although the national championship game between Florida State and Auburn isn’t until later this evening, Scheerhorn is already a big winner in Laspada’s eyes.
“Most people don’t get to walk onto the Rose Bowl and I’m blown away that I get to do it, I’m blown away that she gets to do it and that just makes me happy that someone else gets to feel the same happiness that I do,” said Scheerhorn.
Fulfilling Laspada’s dream was made possible by the Children’s Cancer Center in Tampa who connected Scheerhorn and Laspada, whose cancer is now in remission.