If there was one thing 12-year-old Grant Reed hated more than cancer, it was Michigan.
Reed, a devoted Ohio State fan, was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2011. With the hope of beating his cancer the way he hoped the Buckeyes would beat the Wolverines, he named the tumor “Michigan.”
In July, Reed was able to ring a “Chemo Bell” at Nationwide Children’s Hospital to mark his last chemotherapy treatment and celebrate his win against “Michigan.”
Reed’s story touched the hearts of fans all over the country, including Urban Meyer, who visited Reed at Children’s Hospital in December along with members of the OSU football team, Grant Reed’s father Troy Reed told The Lantern.
Reed and his family will be attending the OSU Buckeyes versus Buffalo Bulls football season opener at Ohio Stadium Saturday, Troy Reed said.
Michigan football coach Brady Hoke also showed his support by offering Reed’s family four tickets to this year’s OSU versus Michigan game Nov. 30 in Ann Arbor, Mich.
In Grant Reed’s case, Hoke was all for beating Michigan, which he commented on at the first day of the Big Ten Football Media Days in Chicago July 24 and 25.
“Well I think as a father and a parent, we’re glad in this instance that he beat Michigan, and that’s probably the only time I’ll say it,” Hoke said. “But that’s important, it’s important for us, we’ve got a great, unbelievable opportunity to help kids and help people understand.”
Hoke went on to talk about the positive aspects of the rivalry.
“This is a great rivalry, the greatest there is, it’s competitive, and it’s passionate,” Hoke said. “But at the end of the day there’s a heck of lot more things more important than those rivalries.”
Grant Reed’s father agreed.
“All of the attention Grant’s story has gotten has been crazy, but crazy in a good way. After 18 months of fighting, it is good to finally see some fun,” Troy Reed said.
On Aug. 17, Grant Reed had the opportunity to be the Grand Marshal at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, NASCAR’s first Nationwide Series race in Ohio.
The Reed family also met with former OSU football running back Eddie George for a day during a Fox Sports interview, Troy Reed said.
As exciting as he felt all of the opportunities have been this past year, though, Troy Reed’s main focus is bringing awareness to pediatric cancer, he said.
“We need to figure out why these innocent children who do nothing wrong but live their lives as kids are still getting this disease,” he said. “Grant’s story has become a great platform to raise awareness and generate funding for pediatric cancer research.”
Denise Reed biked 100 miles at Pelotonia, a three-day bike tour for cancer research in Columbus, this August and donated all fundraising proceeds to the OSU James Cancer Center, Troy Reed said.
Life is slowly returning to normal for the Reed family now that Grant Reed’s cancer is in remission.
Grant Reed recently started the 7th grade in his hometown of Bellville, Ohio, where his dad said his favorite subject is history.
“Grant still went to regular school through his treatments last year, thanks to the amazing support from teachers and classmates,” Troy Reed said.
Through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Grant Reed is planning a trip to Hawaii to visit the Pearl Harbor memorial, his dad said.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wish of a child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition, according to the organization’s website.
Grant Reed’s battle with cancer, though the cancer is currently in remission, is still an ongoing fight, and though his road to recovery will continue, he may now have the added motivation of knowing that ‘Michigan’ was not tough enough to defeat a Buckeye.