Update: June 11 at 11:15 a.m. ET
Toldeo Blade reporter Dave Briggs has confirmed the news.
---End of Update---
Joshua Perry asked a number of his teammates to spare half a minute of their time to film a video that would make a young fan’s day.
The footage, Perry said, was for Joshua Chambers, a four-year-old in Orlando, Florida, struggling with a deadly form of leukemia.
According to Patrick Maks of Eleven Warriors (h/t Bill DiFilippo of College Spun), seven members of the Ohio State Buckeyes football team collaborated in May to send Joshua a series of videos as he lay in the emergency room awaiting treatment.
Joshua’s father Jeremy Chambers says he continued forwarding each individual video to his son’s iPad as he received them.
“I would forward them from my phone to Joshua’s iPad and he’d get a message and it would pop and he’d say, ‘It’s another Buckeye!’” Jeremy said. “The way we did it, by sending them over to his iPad one at a time, he was like ‘Oh another one and another one!’”
The players involved in the video messages included Perry, Devan Bogard, Craig Fada, Curtis Grant, Doran Grant, Darron Lee and Raekwon McMillan. All of them offered words of support for Joshua, who was diagnosed with high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia in February 2013.
Maks reports that Joshua’s father Jeremy is a native of Ohio, and his Buckeyes pride quickly rubbed off on his son.
Image via Joshua's Journey Facebook page.
“Thanks to his father’s Perrysburg, Ohio, roots, [Joshua Chambers] has fallen in love with Ohio State,” Maks writes.
Perry, a junior from Galena, Ohio, heard of Joshua Chambers’ plight from his mother, who had received word of the little superfan’s battle with cancer from a colleague at work.
The linebacker soon began wearing rubber bracelets with “Joshua 1:9” inscribed on the cuff. He says he knows what the football program means to the Buckeye faithful and he is trying to use his platform to make a difference in fans’ lives.
“It’s one of those things where some of the guys who aren’t from Columbus don’t necessarily understand how just being a Buckeye and the small interactions you make with people can actually make their day when they’re going through something tough,” Perry said. “If somebody says, ‘Hey, there’s somebody who wants to meet you…they’re going through a rough time…if they want me to wear their wristband and tell their story and get to know them a little bit, it’s the least I can do.”
Wise words from a young man.
As for Joshua, he is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment and is making strides toward better health, but he isn’t out of the woods just yet.
Keep fighting the good fight, Joshua. You’re the pride of Buckeyes nation, and we can’t wait to see you back on your feet and taking one to the house at Ohio Stadium.
THE Joshua Chambers.