NEW PROVIDENCE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — It’s cool to be kind.
That lesson is spreading through New Providence High School and it all starts with a 9-year-old boy named Lucas Reiling.
“Lucas was diagnosed with inoperable low grade gliomas in his brain stem — benign cancer,” his mother, Amy Reiling, told WCBS 880’s Sean Adams. “He is stable right now, which is fantastic. His tumors are not growing.”
Lucas needs a motorized wheelchair and a ventilator, which means he can’t play his favorite sport — football.
But he’s been made an honorary member of the high school team.
Russell Davidson, 18, a senior co-captain of the New Providence High School football team, organized Lucas Day.
“It wasn’t just me. It was kind of everyone thinking about the bigger things and bigger than yourself, instead of just playing a home game,” Davidson said. “We got all the kids involved. We had kids selling t-shirts.”
Lucas was in the locker room, he led the team onto the field, and he was on the sidelines.
“We walk out two-by-two and he led right in front of the four captains and the rest of the team,” Davidson said.
Money raised that day helped pay for a wheelchair-accesible bedroom for Lucas, and it doesn’t stop there.
“We had a little get together for the holidays and Mrs. Reiling cooked for us and Lucas was just loving life, opening presents and stuff,” said Davidson.
A friendship has since blossomed.
“The kid just brings an energy to you that you don’t really think about,” said Davidson, who also hangs out and plays video games with Lucas. “When you’re down, you see him you’re like I could have it worse. He has it worse and look how happy he is. Why can’t we all be like that?”
Davidson doesn’t like all of the attention, but his mother, Jennifer Davidson, is proud of her son.
“One kid to turn it into a few kids, that turn it into a team, that turned it into a community, and I feel like that should have a spotlight,” she said.
Amy said Russell changed her son’s life.
“He’s unbelievable,” she said. “Since this relationship has developed I’ve noticed a special kind of confidence that Lucas didn’t have before.”
For more information on how you can help Lucas, CLICK HERE.