Kids with rare form of brain cancer bond over football

Two families wearing opposing NFL jerseys were invited for a VIP experience in Glendale Sunday night.

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Two families wearing opposing NFL jerseys were invited for a VIP experience in Glendale Sunday night.

The families have an unbreakable bond. They met because their sons were both diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer only a few months apart.

12 News caught up with 16-year-old Cameron Cozzi and 7-year-old Hollis Doherty and their families at the University of Phoenix stadium Sunday.

They shared how the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks are helping inspire them to keep fighting.

“Go Cards!” Hollis cheered.

“Go Seahawks!” Cameron said with a smile.

Two special kids and their families came together to share an NFL football experience, even though they’re cheering for opposing teams.

“I want them to think about playing tough,” Hollis said, “watching the Arizona versus Seattle Seahawks football game.”

The two and their families became friends because of what they’re going through.

“We’re here because on March 29 our son Hollis was diagnosed with a very rare tumor called DIPG,” said Shane Doherty, Hollis’ dad.

It’s a tumor that sits on his brain stem.

“Where everything goes through for your body to function, that’s where the tumor is sitting,” said Cozzi.

Cameron was diagnosed a few months before Hollis.

“Now I know someone who is going through the same thing as me,” he said.

They met through a network of families undergoing treatment, going through the same journey.

“Through this tough journey, we’ve learned to lean on each other,” Hollis’ dad said.

“Cameron learned his will to fight through sports,” said Paul Cozzi, Cameron’s dad.

That’s why the VIP treatment the boys are getting on and off the field this weekend is priceless.

“To give them whatever purpose it is that they can use to wake up the next morning and fight this disease,” Cameron’s dad said.

“Got to meet some of the Cardinals, Larry Fitzgerald,” Cameron said.

These families are thankful.

“A lot of gratitude for both NFL teams, primarily Arizona Cardinals, because they invited us down and opened up their doors,” Cameron’s dad said.

“We have a lot to celebrate right now,” Hollis’ dad added.

They especially have their friendship to celebrate.

“I can help guide him,” Cameron said. “It’s pretty cool.”

“He’s a real great friend,” Hollis said.

“Nobody has beaten it, but I guess we’re going to be the first,” Cameron said.

You can show your support for Hollis by using the hashtag #HopeforHollis. To help out with his family's medical bills, follow this link.

Copyright 2016 KPNX


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