LOCALS IN THE NFL

ESPN Shares Steve Young’s Special Connection With Cancer Survivor

Nov 22, 2021, 7:00 PM
Steve Young - Monday Night Football...
ESPN Monday Night Football Studio Analysts Steve Young during the NFL regular season football game between the Cleveland Browns and the San Francisco 49ers on Monday, Oct. 7, 2019 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. (Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – ESPN’s Jeff Darlington shared a story about former BYU and NFL legend Steve Young and his connection to cancer survivor Noah Reeb of Highland, Utah.

Darlington and Young discussed the connection during Monday Night Countdown before the New York Giants vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers game on November 22.

When Noah first went to the hospital in American Fork, Utah, he was treated by Young’s brother, Mike.

The former BYU legend recalled talking with Noah over FaceTime and signing his No. 8 San Francisco 49ers jersey for the young football fan.

In October, ESPN highlighted Noah’s battle to beat brain cancer and how Tom Brady inspired him. Noah’s story became well known after he attended a Buccaneers game to watch Brady in person.

Darlington showcased Noah’s story, a message from Brady, and how the player and fan met during a video posted to social media.

“Tom Brady thinks I can beat cancer so I mean, I guess I can beat cancer,” Noah said in the video.

During Noah’s battle, Brady sent a video message of support and encouragement to one of his biggest fans in Utah.

Noah Reeb beats brain cancer

In December 2020, nine-year-old Noah started getting severe migraines and his mother said she knew something was wrong.

“It’s one of those tragic moments you read about where they turn the screen around and say, ‘You have cancer,’” Jacque Reeb told KSL TV, “And in our case, they turned it around and showed us Noah’s tumor in the center of his head and said he has brain cancer and we need to get him to the hospital today.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by James N. Reeb (@the_hackamore)

Since then, Noah underwent six months of treatment to battle the brain tumor.

“It’s like every mom’s worse nightmare, and then instantly you want to protect him and you don’t know what to do, so you just rely on faith from that point on. Faith and trust in God that whatever is going to happen is for a reason,” Jacque added.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by James N. Reeb (@the_hackamore)

In July, Noah finished his final round of radiation. His tumor was gone.

He’ll now be monitored until he is 18 years old to make sure he remains healthy and strong.

Noah Reeb meets Tom Brady

After beating cancer, Noah’s parents promised to take the Brady superfan to a Buccaneers football game.

On Sunday, October 24, the promise came true as Noah sat in the crowd behind the Bucs’ bench holding a sign that read, “TOM BRADY HELPED ME BEAT BRAIN CANCER,”

After the game, Brady walked over to Noah before placing a Bucs “Crucial Catch” hat on the young cancer survivor’s head.

Noah’s sign featured a cancer awareness ribbon and Brady’s jersey number, No. 12.

The moment was “a dream come true” as described in a social media post by Noah’s father, James.

During his postgame comments, Brady spoke about his moment with Noah.

“Puts a lot in perspective, what we’re doing on the field,” Brady said. “In the end, it doesn’t mean much compared to what so many people go through.”

Crucial Catch

At the beginning of October, the NFL launched its “Crucial Catch” initiative for the 2021 season.

The campaign encourages people to get screened in the hope of catching cancer early when it may be easier to treat.

Tom Brady and Tampa Bay

Brady and the Buccaneers entered their game against the Giants with a 6-3 record.

Tampa Bay’s game against New York is televised on ESPN.

Kyle Ireland is a Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on Twitter (@kyleireland) and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).

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