INDIANAPOLIS – Nine-year-old Von Rachell of Indianapolis made an appearance on national TV to introduce the Colts’ second round draft pick Friday night.
The Colts selected defensive end Dayo Odeyingbo 54th overall.
Just a few years ago, Von was diagnosed with anaplastic ependymoma, a brain cancer impacting the central nervous system.
“They referred us to hospice care,” Von’s mother, Monica, said. “There was nothing else they could do.”
But, Von’s journey with St. Jude made Friday night possible. He had surgery to remove a brain tumor two years ago. He has been feeling better since.
“That was really life-changing,” Monica said.
Von is not cancer-free, yet. His fight continues after undergoing five brain surgeries, three different types of radiation and chemo.
“I might start crying,” said his father, Von. “He’s just a warrior in my eyes. Everywhere we go, we just can’t believe it.”
Little Von is no stranger to the NFL. He timed the 40-yard dashes during Rich Eisen’s annual “Run Rich Run” campaign at last year’s scouting combine.
“To meet the GOAT Jerry Rice that was like once in a lifetime,” Monica said. “And of course, Rich Eisen and George Kittle. He probably was more excited being in charge of the timer. That was really fascinating for him.”