MORAGA, Calif. — Quinton Rios might only be 7 years old, but he’s the latest soccer recruit at Saint Mary’s College of California and he’s already fitting in.
Rios is battling brain cancer, and he’s a huge soccer fan, and always wanted to be on a team. When head coach Adam Cooper heard about Rios, he knew he would be a perfect fit for the Gaels, and before long Rios was ready to sign on the dotted line of a letter of intent.
The team gave Rios his own locker stall and his own player number: 87, a reference to the 87-week duration of his first round of chemotherapy. Rios is still working on his soccer skills, but he’s already got the attitude he needs to be a winner.
Rios loves hanging with his teammates, but he knows there’s one person who always has his back and came through to make this happen, just like she always does.
“My mom did this for me and I’m really proud,” Rios told KTVU.
For her part, Rios’s mom Mary says she’s always proud of him.
“Even on his worst days feeling horrible, he would never be down,” she said. “If I was struggling, I could pull strength from him, he’d give me a big hug, ‘It’s OK mom, we’re gonna get through this.’ And we would pull through it.”