Meet Imoter “Mo” Mngerem, an athlete who never backs down to a challenge…
Mo is an amazing 19-year old young man from Tyrone, GA and our first Dream Recipient from our new
Atlanta Chapter! He was referred to us from the Aflac Cancer & Blood Disorders Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Egleston. Mo is an active, high school athlete whose college aspirations include playing football and running track. Mo’s peers might spend their time thinking about college applications, jobs, and prom but Mo’s thoughts have had to include other things. He was diagnosed with Large B Cell Lymphoma (NHL) on his 18th birthday so Mo’s primary focus has been on his health and re-evaluating his immediate plans. Despite the very different direction his life has taken, Mo is an extremely upbeat young man and focusing on positive thoughts has been a way for him to cope with the very unexpected news.
Prior to his diagnosis, if he wasn’t running track or playing football you would probably find Mo in the gym. Some might describe him as a “workout junkie” and his excellent physical condition is certainly a huge advantage in overcoming this disease. Sports have always been large part of Mo’s life so he is no stranger to teamwork. His “team” at CHOA has been there every step of the way and have really rallied behind this young man. In many ways, the care that he has received from them embodies the way he hopes to help other people one day. His dream of becoming a strength and conditioning coach will allow him to help others reach their full potential. Mo’s determination, courage, and tenacity will be essential as he overcomes his battle with cancer and refocuses on his hopes and dreams for the future!
Sports are a constant in Mo’s life and he doesn’t just like football….he LOVES football. During football season you will find him wearing navy blue, green and gray and rooting for #24 because he is a serious Seattle Seahawks and Marshawn Lynch fan! The “Spirit of 12” is strong with Mo so when we asked him what his ultimate sports Dream would be he answered, “to spend a day of training with the Seattle Seahawks and to watch a game at Century Link Field!“
The Dream Experience:
October 13, 2016: On a trip to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, Mo thought it was just another routine visit to the hospital. However, what he didn’t know is that waiting to surprise him was his team of family, healthcare staff, and his Title Dream Sponsor, Argos. It was very evident how much love and support Mo had behind him the moment that he stepped in the room. Mo’s biggest supporter by far is his mom, Monica. She has told us that she believes Mo’s positive attitude has helped him the most in his battle with cancer. We couldn’t think of a better time than now to give him some good news that his sports dream was going to come true that weekend!
Although Mo wouldn’t be leaving for his dream until Friday, the surprises for the day didn’t stop there. Waiting outside the hospital was a limo to take Mo and his family to lunch where he was greeted by even more friends and family. The number of people that wanted to wish Mo well before he made his big trip across the country was incredible. If you thought the Seattle Seahawks had a big fan base behind them, you should look at all of Mo’s fans!
Bright and early Friday morning Team Mo departed from
Atlanta to make the cross country trek to Seattle
where Mo had a big weekend ahead of him. First stop, the Seattle Seahawks training facility! Mo aspires to be a strength and conditioning coach one day so who better to spend time with than Mondray Gee, the Seahawks’ assistant strength and conditioning coach. Gee gave Mo a tour of their training facility, showing Mo everything from the practice field to the weight room. Later, Mo spent time with head assistant strength and conditioning coach, Chris Carlisle. He spoke about success and told Mo that you have to work hard for what you love and put your heart into everything you are working for. This was definitely one of Mo’s highlights for the day!
After his tour of the facility Mo got to hang out while the Seahawks practiced for their game Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. He got to interact with the players and met head coach, Pete Carroll. It’s not every day that you’re hanging out with guys that won the Super Bowl! From starting quarterback, Russell Wilson, to cornerback, Richard Sherman, we’re serious when we said he met the players. Mo seemed to fit right in with them! It was a big day for the Dream Team and it was only the first day, so it was then back to check in at Hotel Monaco to rest up for the rest of the weekend.
Saturday was spent exploring Seattle, from top to bottom – literally. With stops at Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour, the Space Needle, and Pikes Place Market we were all over the city! Our final stop of the day was at Beast Mode, Marshawn Lynch’s store. Lynch was Mo’s favorite player on the Seahawks so it was cool to stop by his store and check it out!
Game day arrived with much anticipation. With the Seahawks boasting one of the toughest defenses in the league and the Falcons having the top scoring offense in the NFL so it was sure to be a great game.
Mo got to spend time on the sidelines where he experienced the pregame warm ups and team introductions. He also got to meet the Sea Gals and Taima, the Seahawks live Augur hawk that flies out of the tunnel with the team. The game came down to the wire with a 47-yard field goal with 1:57 remaining that sealed the 26-24 victory for the Seahawks! It was a full weekend of football and sight seeing for Mo and his family sealed with the win for Mo’s favorite team. It was a once in a lifetime experience and a dream come true!
Photos by Emby Taylor Photography – click below to view the full album
His sports dream is to spend a day of training with the Seattle Seahawks and to watch a game at Century Link Field!
Mo was referred to us by our partner, Aflac Cancer & Blood Disorders Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Egleston.