Boy battling serious illness joins Tufts football team
MEDFORD, Mass. (WHDH) -- A brave little boy's draft dream became a reality in Medford Wednesday afternoon when he joined the Tufts University Football Team.
He may only be 8-years-old, but he has one huge heart. And so do the college athletes who asked him to be on their team -- with a little help from a Patriots star.
The Tufts University Football Team signed a new recruit.
"The Tufts university football team declares on this day, May 2, that Riley Roman has been drafted to become an official Jumbo and member of the football team."
Riley Roman signed his letter of intent -- fulfilling a dream to join a football team thanks to Patriots player Rob Ninkovich.
"I was at the hospital just doing a visit and just happened to walk in his room," Ninkovich said.
The 8-year-old from South Hadley was an avid athlete before being diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor, and having surgery twice.
Now, he is able to get back out onto the field with new teammates.
"The first time I met him we hit it off, we had a great time together and we stayed close and to this day we still talk," Ninkovich said.
Riley and the Jumbos were brought together by Team Impact -- a non-profit organization working to improve the lives of kids fighting serious illness.