Gronk and His Patriots Teammates Turn Into Superheroes for Super Fan Battling a Brain Tumor
Posted by: Gronkowski
Don’t believe the tagline to the new “Venom” movie, the world does need more superheroes – especially real-life ones who go out of their way for super fans in need.
Gronk and some of his Patriots teammates recently transformed into superheroes for Parker Gerault, a seven-year-old from Austin, Texas, who suffers from a rare tumor on his brain stem.
Parker is obsessed with the Patriots -- and like a lot of kids of all ages, his favorite player is No. 87.
"When he's watching Gronk, in his imagination he is Gronk," Parker's dad Donnie told Fox 9 News. "This is an escape for certain. The fight's not over. It's going to take the community, it's going to take more Gronks to keep these kids motivated and stay in the fight."
At least one Gronkowski saw the Bat Signal and came to Parker’s aid after a family friend reached out to some of the players via social media following his diagnosis last Christmas.
The first to reply was tackle Marcus Cannon, who sent him a message saying: “I just wanted to wish you a great recovery from your brain surgery. Be strong."
And then the messages started flooding in. "Shortly thereafter -- by shortly I mean seconds – there were four more voicemails from other Patriots players," Donnie said. "It's not on the football field. It took about 20 seconds, but that 20 seconds brought more life out of Parker than any of us standing around his bed, begging him to show us a sign of life."
But it was the care package with a signed football and a video message from Gronk that really had a Superman-sized impact on Parker’s life.
After he received it, Parker felt inspired enough to make his first public appearance since his diagnosis at a community fundraiser for pediatric brain tumor research held in his honor, his family said.
Parker first became sick late last year. “My oldest and him they share a room,” his mom Brooke told Fox. “My oldest had told me, ‘Mom, Parker’s making really strange sounds at night.’ I just knew something wasn’t right, but in my mind the worst case was sleep apnea.”
“From diagnosis to surgery the next four days were spent in the hospital," his dad continued. "When Parker came out of surgery the right side of his body couldn’t work. He couldn’t swallow. He couldn’t breathe on his own. Complication after complication.”
“My oldest and him they share a room,” said Parker’s mom, Brooke. “My oldest had told me, ‘Mom, Parker’s making really strange sounds at night.’ I just knew something wasn’t right, but in my mind the worst case was sleep apnea.”
While many things have changed in their lives since Parker's official diagnosis on Dec. 26, 2017, one thing that has stayed the same is a love of football, which will always be an escape for them all.
"That part of the family didn't change because of the diagnosis," Brooke said. "It didn't matter, we were still watching football."
Check out Parker and his siblings in their Pats jerseys below #ParkerStrong.
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