COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (WOWT) — Being a Hawkeye fan in Husker country isn’t easy, but unfamiliar territory is nothing new for the Tijerena family.
The Tijerena house is covered in Hawkeye items. Young son Jackson loves the team too, but looks can be deceiving.
“The scans don’t match his personality. He doesn’t look like he has cancer,” Amy Tijerena said.
The diagnosis came in January of 2016.
“They verified he had a brain tumor. Two weeks later he was in surgery having brain surgery,” Amy said.
The fight against cancer is leaving its mark. But, when Jackson reveals what’s under his Hawkeye shirt, it’s easy to see the inspiration for this other true love.
“His doctor told him to put his port in the middle, that way he’d look just like Iron Man and he’d get strength from his port just like Iron Man gets strength from his button,” Amy said.
As the Tijerena’s fought, mom got an idea.
“In July, when we found out we didn’t have a lot of options, you start thinking about how much time you have. I decided I want to start a bucket list,” Amy said.
However, kids dream big.
“He said, ‘For my next thing I want to meet Iron Man. I don’t want someone in a costume, I want the real guy,'” Amy explained.
It took a friend with a connection, and of course social media, but mom delivered.
Robert Downey Jr. sent a video to Jackson.
“We were thrilled. Jackson was jumping up and down,” Amy said.
Cancer is a nasty word.
“I want people to know there’s a little boy behind that word that has aspirations and dreams just like other kids,” Amy said.
Iron Man got that message, and Jackson’s dreams came true.
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