Southern Miss Athletics brings a man's dream to life

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss football team is currently battling hard to try and make it to a conference championship this year.

The team met someone Saturday who's going through a tough battle of his own.

Patrick Ellis, 23, is a young man who's fighting for his life every day.

He has adrenoleukodstrophy, which is a genetic disorder that affects the myelin in the brain and causes the body to deteriorate.

One of his dreams was to meet the Southern Miss football team, and that dream was granted.

"We're filled with happiness for him, because we know he's loving it and it makes us happy because we know that this is something he is not able to do every day," said Patrick’s mother, Patt Ellis.

One of the first people he met was head coach, Jay Hopson.

"What a blessing that young man is. Here's a guy that probably wakes up every day in pain and suffering. Just the excitement in his eyes, the tears of emotion just coming out of the locker room, just talking to our players. I love the fact that he kissed all of us seven times, and he said that's God's number. That's pretty amazing," said Hopson.

Ellis got to tour the locker room and shake hands with the players at the end of Eagle Walk.

Cornerback, Picasso Nelson Jr. said, "Definitely the highlight of today, just meeting him and shaking his hand at Eagle Walk was just amazing."

Ellis also had the pleasure of meeting one of the Charlotte coaches, as well as meeting Seymour and a few cheerleaders.

"He could've chose anything to do, but he came here to be with us and watch us play. It just brought positivity to the locker room and motivated us," said free safety, D’Nerius Antoine.

Ellis was on the field for pre-game warmups tossing the football around, having fun, enjoying life, and meeting various people.

The Golden Eagles ended up losing to the 49ers, but the team was inspired by Ellis' fight and the way he carries himself.

"Makes you step back and count your blessings in life and understand what an inspiration a young man like that is," said Hopson.

"You know times are tough right now for him. He's definitely facing adversity, more adversity than anyone in this room, including myself. It's just a blessing to meet somebody like that. He's definitely a fighter and I'm praying for him. And I wish his family the best," said Nelson Jr.

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