MSU quarterback brings attention to fan's cancer fight - WNEM TV 5

MSU quarterback brings attention to fan's cancer fight

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BAY CITY, MI (WNEM) -

If the sports gear doesn’t give it away, Ryan Smigiel makes it clear.

"I was born green and white," Smigiel said. "Never had a choice and wouldn't prefer it any other way."

He loves his Spartans, especially the football team. The 22-year-old doesn’t miss a game.

But last season, Smigiel said many football Saturdays were ruined by a splitting headache.

"And then, my speech started to get really slurred," Smigiel said.

In November, the day before the Ohio State game, Smigiel learned he had brain cancer.

"My whole world got flipped upside down,” Smigiel said.

He spent the rest of the season watching his Spartans from a hospital bed.

He had the fight of his life ahead.

“It was, it was hard," he said.

But he’s not fighting alone.

"I've got Ryan Smigiel, a kid that I met last year during the football season, he's fighting cancer, he's in remission right now, I'm pretty sure," said Connor Cook, Michigan State’s quarterback.

Last Thursday, Cook told the world about Spigiel’s battle in an ESPN interview, when he was asked about his wristband.

It’s the same wristband Smigiel gave Cook and other MSU players in February when he shared his story.

The wristband says “Fight with Smeegz” and Cook said he uses it as inspiration.

"Ryan, hope you see that man," Cook said.

Smigiel said it caught him off guard when he saw an ESPN message on his phone.

It was his name, next to Cook’s, for a reason he thought was long forgotten.

"To have him still recognize what I'm going through and having his support and prayers every day, it's just, it's I don't have any other words other than amazing, it's unreal really," Smigiel said.

His cancer fight isn’t over, but he’s got an army of Spartans behind him.

And his no. 1 fan, Connor Cook, who is definitely in the fight.

"I'm not scared for it to come back, and if it does, I know I'll have a battle in front of me and I'll do what I can to conquer it and beat it again," Smigiel said.

For updates on Smigiel’s fight, check out his Facebook page.

Copyright 2015 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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