Tyler had no idea he was going to be included during NIU’s final spring practice.
“It was pretty cool to have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to (score a touchdown),” he said.
The touchdown meant even more to Tyler because Sunday marked his 13th birthday. It was the perfect celebration, considering May is Neurofibromatosis Awareness Month, his father said. Several players have supported Tyler by wearing blue wristbands that represent neurofibromatosis awareness.
Tyler’s story works both ways, Carey said. It gives him an opportunity to participate in sports, but it also provides the football team with inspiration. A broken coverage, missed tackle, dropped pass – none of that compares to what Tyler is going through.
The next chapter of Tyler’s journey is set to unfold in a few weeks. He’s scheduled to undergo surgery on his left leg, which holds one of his bigger tumors, at the end of May. Shaun Neppl said it’ll be an extremely painful process and added it doesn’t get any easier knowing Tyler will have to endure his second round of chemo this summer.