BOISE, Idaho — The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society honored a nine-year-old Boise State Bronco megafan, Jaleel Dodd, with a special celebration at Julia Davis Park on Saturday. He was cheered on by a parade of cars, including the coaches and student-athletes from the team.
Nine-year-old Jaleel was diagnosed with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in July 2020. Since then, he has been fighting the diagnosis every day and is expected to undergo another year of treatment.
“He’s doing pretty good right now," Jaleel's father Jemier Dodd said. "We are actually a few weeks out from maintenance, which is a lot less chemo for him, so obviously a lot happier days for him and not being too drained compared to what he is right now."
Not only is Jaleel a fighter, but he is also a Boise State superfan.
“We watch all of the basketball games and all of the football games and he loves going to the football games,” Dodd said. “He always wants to know when the football games are on, and who’s playing and who we are playing against."
After learning about his diagnosis, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Woman of the Year candidate Rachel Fullinwider contacted Brooke Pahukoa, assistant to Boise state head coach Andy Avalos.
She then received information about Jaleel and his fight and helped the Broncos partner with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to organize a car parade for Jaleel at Julia Davis Park on Saturday.
Additionally, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Idaho chose Jaleel as their Honored Hero of the Year and decided to honor him and his fight with his beloved Broncos.
“We care about our community just as much as they care about us,” Boise State quarterback Hank Bachmeier said. "He’s just fighting and it was awesome to see a smile on his face."
Avalos and the rest of the Bronco brotherhood came together this weekend to support Jaleel as he continues his battle against leukemia.
“It means a lot to us," Jaleel's father said. "We’re very honored and blessed to have people in the community that want to help us in this time and make him feel happy and make him feel comfortable."
Bachmeier said it was an honor to see Jaleel and how tough he is. The experience made him think of everything he is thankful for.
"For myself, my sister was in the hospital for a long time in high school, dealing with an auto-immune disease, so just being a family in that type of deal is really, really tough," he said. "It’s awesome what the community has done and just the people around him supporting him. I know that’s important."
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