By Karen Morfitt
AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– They were strangers before Friday night but Noah Karwacki and 12-year-old Zackary Schultz had an instant connection, through football.
“He’s very tough, he’s a very tough kid,” Noah said.
Two years ago, Schultz was diagnosed with leukemia.
“When I first got diagnosed the only thing I wanted to do was play football,” Schultz said.
Unfortunately, his time on the field was put on hold.
Jordan, Zack’s older brother says instead the family turned their focus to treatment.
“It was really hard, really hard on everyone,” he said, “One of the things is we wanted to make sure no other family had to sit in the hospital and told their child has cancer,” Shultz said.
That’s where s Karwacki comes in; a kicker for Vista PEAK Preparatory School, he is raising money for childhood cancer research through the Kick-It Champion program.
Fans can pledge money for every kick he makes.
“It’s amazing just to raise money for the kids in this, that’s what I want to do when I get older,” Schultz said.
Karwacki says the night was all about Zack and they weren’t just playing for him, they made him part of the team.
“When we go out there we fight, and we are fighting like we are fighting for Zack,” Vista PEAK’s coach said during a locker room pep talk.
Karwacki ended the night putting several points on the board, Vista PEAK won the game 55-13, but the final score is not important he says, because this game wasn’t about winning or losing.
Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.