Faith, Family and Football

By Lizette Robles - May 22, 2020

Marco Solis has been a lifelong fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 23-year-old Polk County resident became particularly interested in the team during wide receiver Mike Evans’ rookie season. Since then, win or lose, Marco has cheered on the Pewter Pirates from a far, dreaming of meeting his idol, number 13.

In April 2019, Solis starting experiencing severe stomach pains. At first, he thought it might be his appendix. But a trip to the hospital revealed he had colorectal cancer. After a year of treatment, Marco found himself in Moffitt Cancer Center’s urgent care clinic last week.

Because of restrictions due to COVID-19, he was alone, scared and in pain. In an effort to try and distract and console him, his doctors struck up a conversation about his favorite sport and his favorite team.

And as luck would have it, his favorite player came through in a big way.

Before Solis was discharged from the hospital, Evans surprised him with a virtual visit via Zoom. The pair talked about faith, family, football and video games of course. They bonded over some of their favorites: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, NBA 2K and Fortnite.

Though Solis has a tough road ahead, Evans vowed to keep the young man in his prayers, telling him, “We’re locked in forever now.” 

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