Local cancer survivor meets NFL hero

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV)—Nineteen-year-old Andre Jenkins loves his job at the Courtyard Mariott in downtown Savannah. But only a few months ago, instead of working, he was fighting for his life.

Jenkins was diagnosed with Leukemia when he was only sixteen years old.

“Sitting in that bed for those six months it was really hard,” Jenkins said. “I only told one person this but my very last week of chemo I was like I can’t do it anymore.”

Just when Jenkins was beginning to lose hope, he found a hero he could look up to. James Conner, the running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was also diagnosed with Leukemia. He was able to beat cancer and continue playing.

A month ago, Make-A-Wish Georgia made his dream come true. They sent Jenkins and his family to meet James Conner and sit in on a practice. Conner gave him a tour of the Steeler’s facility and tickets for the next game.

“Words can’t describe it it’s like when you meet your favorite superhero,” Jenkins said. “He really inspired me to keep pushing to keep going. He looked at me he was like what’s up? And I’m like it’s just really you. I’m talking to you! I thought I was dreaming.”

Now, Jenkins is cancer-free. He said knowing his family had his back got him through the tough moments.

“I’m grateful for everything that’s transpired, the good, the bad, the ugly. It has made up become what we are. A close family,” Janice Jenkins said.

Jenkins graduated from high school on time despite his setbacks. Now, he wants to go to college and help kids battling cancer just as Conner inspired him.

“There is hope,” he said. “Just keep fighting.”

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