“Beat Michigan” is a mission statement and a rallying cry for Ohio State and its athletics program, but never before have the words held the implications they’ve had for a young man named Grant Reed.
While cliche, saying Grant is “Ohio State’s biggest fan” is the only way to describe him. His parents were in the marching band at Ohio State, he grew up in a Buckeye household and his life’s goal is to beat “Michigan”—the cancerous brain tumor he has been battling for the past two years.
According to Fox Sports, Grant was diagnosed with the tumor in 2011 and decided soon after to nickname his biggest adversary after Ohio State’s greatest rival, the University of Michigan. After much pain, struggle and chemotherapy, the doctors’ prognosis is good—Reed is beating Michigan.
The disease is in regression, according to Grant’s parents, Troy and Denise Reed, who explained that their son had just finished up his final chemotherapy treatment and rang the “Chemo Bell” on his way out of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Troy and Denise spoke to NBC 4's Denise Yost in Columbus, Ohio about their son’s progress and his continuing will to fight against the odds.
“We’ve beaten Michigan in the short term,” Troy said. “But like any rival, there’s a chance it can come back.”
Grant’s struggle has been an inspiration to Ohio State Buckeyes fans, and the young patient was even visited in the hospital by OSU football head coach Urban Meyer this past December.
While “out of the woods,” Grant’s battle continues, according to Yost. He’s scheduled to come in every three months for an MRI and is currently still recovering from mobility and speech issues stemming from treatment complications.
“I want to recover. I want to talk faster, I guess. Walk faster,” Grant said.
Though their son is no longer staying at the hospital, the Reeds have donated two toy wagons for other kids in treatment to play with in appreciation for their son’s treatment.
“We did make the stipulation," Troy said. "It had to say ‘Beat Michigan’ on it.”
“O-H-I-O.” Go Grant go.