BOCA RATON, Fla. - Six months ago, the Florida Atlantic football team became part of Team Niko.
This past weekend, Niko became a part of the FAU football team.
Care To Click readers will remember that members of the Florida Atlantic University football team took part in a firefighter challenge that served as a fundraiser for Niko Peros, who is battling Fanconi anemia.
On Friday and Saturday, FAU invited 2 1/2-year-old Peros and his family to spend time with the team.
"It's humbling," said Michael Peros, Niko's father. "You wonder what you did to deserve this kind of attention from so many people from so many different walks of life."
FAU invited Peros to the Owls' Friday football practice, where they presented Michael and Niko with official FAU football jerseys.
Afterward the players filed past Niko on their way to the locker room, exchanging high fives and smiles.
"I think it's important for (the players) to realize there are things bigger than football bigger than what we are dealing with every day," FAU coach Charlie Partridge said.
Fanconi anemia is an autosomal recessive blood disorder which leads to bone marrow failure, leukemia, and sometimes tumors. FA is rare - only about 1 in 350,000 people have it. Florida State football coach Jimbo Fisher's son Ethan may be the most famous child living with the disease.
On Saturday the Peros family were special guests of FAU. They watched most of the game from a suite, but were on the sideline for much of the second quarter, when FAU honored the family during a timeout and presented them with a framed FAU jersey with Peros on the back.
Niko's condition has weakened his immune system, so he's often confined to the house. For Niko, who likes to watch televised sports with his father before going to bed, it was his first live college football game.
He saw a good one. FAU scored two touchdowns in the final 2:30 to come from behind and beat Western Kentucky, 45-38.
"It's a great thing to have someone like that at your game and you play like that for them," said FAU quarterback Quez Johnson, who threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more scores. "It just shows that someone has his back."
Care To Click applauds FAU and hopes the efforts of Team Niko can help lead to a cure for Fanconi anemia. To learn more about Niko, visit the Gary Cogswell Remember the Children Foundation website.
While Fanconi anemia isn't technically a cancer, people suffering from the disease often develop cancer. The Care To Click community does its part to help find a cure for cancer by visiting the Care To Click Cancer page on a daily basis to donate a free click, tweet and Facebook post. There's even a page to print free coupons for useful products used every day. At CareToClick.com small actions prompt our donations to organizations working to cure cancer.