HOUSTON COUNTY, Ga. — Kyler Pike was left speechless after being told he was going to the 2023 College Football National Championship in Los Angeles, California.
Pike is a part of the organization Team Impact. They match children with serious illnesses and disabilities with college athletic teams. CEO Seth Rosenzweig says helping Pike get to the championship is just part of what they do.
"We worked with the team and the Bulldog has been great in terms of kind of working with the team to figure out logistics. The good news is we worked actually the Peach Bowl. We worked with a donor. One of our donors actually helped fund sending him in his family to the Peach Bowl, and obviously, that ended well. We actually are working with ESPN to get the tickets and provide an amazing experience for Kyler and his family," Rosenzweig said.
In 2021, we reported Pike had beat a rare form of leukemia. He was diagnosed with the disease in 2017. His mom, Ashley Pike says he was in treatment for 3 years and 3 months. Now, he's three years away from being five years in remission.
The 8-year-old Bulldogs fan joined Team Impact in July 2022. Pike has met with the football team many times and joined them in Atlanta, Georgia for the Peach Bowl. He was able to meet some team members like Kearis Jackson.
His mom says he has been a fan since birth because she is a big Georgia Bulldogs fan. She is grateful for the opportunity that Team Impact has given them.
"It means a lot to Kyler to be able to have that experience with him. We're all about making memories," Pike said.
This kid, who endured three years of needles and treatment in a fight for his life, offers some advice to everyone and those on the team.
"Never, ever give up when things are hard, and for the Georgia Bulldogs to never give up," Kyler Pike said.
Ashley Pike says they are taking her father with them to the big game.
"Kyler and Pop-Pop have been the best of friends during his treatment. He's been his biggest support system, so just to bring in all three of us together to make memories that we can cherished," Pike said.