DENVER, Colo.– When you’re just 17 years old, you shouldn’t have to worry about the things Richie Medina worries about.
“I’m going to be weaker. ‘Cause I see all my hair fall out. And I’m probably going to lose my eyebrows too,” he told FOX31.
He is getting ready to begin his second round of chemotherapy, which will keep him in the hospital for a month. Once it’s over, he gets to go home for a week before the process repeats. He will continue the treatment until April.
“When they told me I had leukemia I was just like, whoa,” Richie said.
He says being sick has taught him to appreciate life much more than he ever has.
“Before all of this, I was lost…and I wasn’t really that good of a person,” he said. “I would be negative and I’d be angry and I’d just be the ugly person.”
He says the diagnosis has brought him much closer with his family, including his seven younger siblings.
“I’m 17 years old and I was next to a baby that was four months with cancer so it just blew my mind just like how innocent kids are,” Richie said. “That’s what I want people to realize, that life is an amazing thing.”
Wednesday afternoon, he was treated to an amazing surprise to help get him through the next round of treatment. Broncos star running back Phillip Lindsay paid him a special visit.
“I heard your thing on the news and I’m sorry that you have to go through it but I know you’re strong,” Lindsay said.
During his first month in the hospital, Richie, who is a huge Broncos fan, made a video from his hospital bed as a plea to meet his heroes, Von Miller and Phillip Lindsay. After FOX31’s story about Richie’s request, Children’s Hospital Colorado helped arrange the surprise.
“When you’re playing, you give me mad hope,” Richie told Lindsay.
The two discussed football, video games and life.
“It isn’t about me. You know, you’ve got people like yourself that’s fighting for your life man. I’m sitting here playing a game. And for me it’s like this: a game you win it, you lose it, you go on. But in life you only get one of those, one chance at life. One thing to do what you wanna do,” Lindsay told Richie.
He signed a football for Richie and gave him two Broncos beanies as a gift.
“I’m super shocked, like it’s crazy! I’m super surprised,” Richie said. “I’m going to be ready for second round. Definitely. It’s going to give me more strength.”