INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — There was a secret weapon on the sideline for the Indianapolis Colts win against the Green Bay Packers. A local teenager who knows how to win gave the players a pep talk. Deanthony Rogers has beaten cancer three times and helped inspire the Colts on Sunday.
Rogers connected with the players, safely at a distance in a high-tech pep talk. He was virtually at Lucas Oil Stadium in a robot on the sidelines. He watched the team warm-up on the field and then Rogers met Nyheim Hines as he signed the robot jersey. Rogers also talked with Marcus Johnson and one of the team owners. Plus, several of the players signed a specially made Colts jersey to give to him.
“It was pretty cool that I could interact with them and they knew my name,” said Rogers.
It was the experience Rogers was hoping for, when he asked his doctor at Riley Children’s Hospital at IU Health if she could help him meet some football players. The best part was when the Colts actually won the game, for him.
“They told me they were going to win the game for me and I seen basically everything. I seen them warming up. I was basically at the touchdown so I could see pretty much everything and all the players, it was a pretty cool experience,” said Rogers. “It was very exciting and I am grateful for the experience.”
Rogers loves football, however, he hasn’t been able to play since he got sick. When Rogers was 7-years-old he was first diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, five years later, it came back. Rogers’ doctors finally used his own stem cells to treat him, in what they called a “Rescue mission.” Then in early November, he was declared cancer-free and he got to ring the survivor bell.
“Ringing the bell is when you complete cancer, beat it and defeat it. They tell you to ring the bell so everyone can know your accomplishment and it feels amazing when you ring the bell because you know you don’t have to go back,” said Rogers. “I always kept a positive attitude, because I knew I was going to get out of there safely.”
It’s Rogers’ positive mindset that has gotten him this far. He was really wanting to meet TY Hilton on Sunday and unfortunately, that didn’t happen. However, Rogers is hopeful he will one day meet the football star.