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MSU football players grant 9-year-old cancer survivor’s wish

Posted at 10:23 PM, Jan 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-17 23:04:55-05

WYOMING, Mich.-- A 9-year-old boys' wildest dreams come true, thanks to an organization built to support kids battling cancer.

DC Strong made a dream day possible for Avery Kushion. DC Strong is an organization that reaches out to support those facing childhood cancer. The idea behind the organization is mentoring children, providing care packages for them, and fundraises to put together a ‘dream day’ for each patient.

“When they said the ‘state’ people where here, I was pretty excited,” said Avery Kushion, a cancer survivor.

DC Strong organized for Kushion to meet his heroes: MSU football players at Craig's Cruisers in Wyoming. Kushion is an avid Michigan State football fan, and says this is an experience he’ll never forget.

Josiah Price, Zach Higgins, Kodi Kieler, Dave Fennnell, and Jack Conklin spent a day at Craig’s Cruisers playing games with Avery  like bumper cars, ski ball, and lots of video games.

The over 6 foot 5, and 300 pound players turned heads as they followed a 9-year-old around the facility. Most asking to take pictures with the players, or just stopping to stare. They weren’t there for attention, just to give attention to the boy they say inspires them.

Avery proudly walked around with confidence, while he was rolling deep with five of the biggest humans he’s ever seen, who just happen to be part of one of the top football programs in the nation.

“I have never seen any state players before, and I really wanted to, and then I got to today,” said Kushion.

The players look tough and intimidating, but they were laughing like kids while bumping each other in the small bumper cars they squeezed their muscular frames and long legs into.

“We are blessed to be here, and it’s going to be a fun day being able to hang out with Avery and the kids,” said Josiah Price.

Avery was diagnosed with kidney cancer at 4-years-old.

“Cancer, well, that’s  hard,” said Kushion.

Now, Avery is 9-years-old and in remission. He still recalls the pain and struggles he went through fighting for his life.

“Well it was really hard because I had to stay in the hospital for a few weeks, and I got a little homesick,” said Kushion

There was one thing that gave him relief: watching the MSU football games on the television.

“I like when they run for touchdowns and stuff like that. That's what I really like,” he said.

Josiah, Jack, Kodi, Zach, and Dave were happy to be Avery's entourage, so it could be a day for Avery to just hang with the guys.

MSU lineman Jack Conklin, is no stranger to supporting those with cancer. DC Strong's spokesman, Dustan Colyer, who's battled stage 5 kidney cancer five times, grew up with Conklin. They even shared a locker together in highschool.

“He actually watched me go through all my treatment and everything like that,” said Colyer.

When Dustin called on him to help out Avery, Conklin got the boys together.

“We want him to remember this day for a long time,” said Conklin.

Avery will never be able to play football like his idols because of complications from the cancer, but just as much as these players are his role model, he has become a source of motivation for these football giants.

“Well it’s just really inspiring just to see a kid with his situation, and going through a struggle at such a young age,” said Price.

To learn more about DC Strong or to make a donation to the organization click here.