HIGHLAND, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – 10-year-old Noah Reeb has done interviews on ESPN, CNN and HBO. He’s appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, and even did an interview with an Australian radio station.
But considering his son’s journey, James Reeb isn’t shocked that his son’s story has blown up.
“It doesn’t surprise me that is resonated so well,” James said. “It just seems like there’s this real hunger for really good things.”
For as long as he can remember, Noah Reeb has always been a Tom Brady fan.
“When I was about four or five, I asked my dad who the greatest quarterback was,” Noah said. “He said it was Tom Brady. Then I watched him more and I read books about him. He just seemed like a really good guy.”
About a year ago at his home in Highland, Noah started experiencing headaches. A couple months later, the Reebs received a diagnosis no parent wants to hear — brain cancer.
“We didn’t know the difficult road that he would be on,” James said. “We knew that it would be difficult, but we didn’t know how difficult.”
Through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, Noah tried to stay as positive as he could. But at one of his lowest moments, Noah got a message he couldn’t believe.
“It came at a really dark time,” Noah said. “Me and my mom were sitting in our car in our driveway, and I was kind of spiraling down. My mom gets this text message and she plays the video. She’s watching it and she’s like, ‘Noah, dude, it’s Tom Brady!
“Hey Noah, how you doing?” Brady said in the video. “I just wanted to let you know that I’m thinking about you. I know you’re one of my biggest fans in Utah. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Hang tough, you’re going to be great. I know it.”
Noah has watched the video hundreds of times.
“Whenever I was having a down moment, I think if Tom Brady thinks I can beat cancer, I can beat cancer,” he said.
A family friend, former NFL star Todd Heap helped set it all up. Then, Noah’s mom Jacque made her son a promise.
“She said ‘Noah, when you beat cancer, I promise I will get tickets and fly you to a Buccaneers game’.
So, when they got the all clear from doctors, Noah, having beaten cancer, flew to Tampa with his dad to watch the Buccaneers take on the Chicago Bears. Noah made a sign to thank Tom Brady that said, ‘Tom Brady helped me beat brain cancer.’
“When Tom Brady sees the sign, he gets a hat,” Noah recalled. “He walks over and sticks it on my head and says, ‘good job, buddy,’ and he shakes my hand.”
For Brady to put the hat on Noah’s shaven head, where all his scars are, was in a way, poetic.
“I’ve had wishes, but this was like a dream,” Noah said. “Some people wait their whole lives and still yet never get it. So, it was just amazing.”
With the scene played out on national television, James phone blew up with messages the next day asking for interviews. But he wasn’t sure if Noah was up for sharing his story.
“We had a chat, and basically I just said, ‘look, a lot of people are going to want to talk to you about this now, and it was amazing. But if you want to kind of keep it to yourself, that would be fine.’ He thought about it for a moment and said, ‘dad, it makes me feel so good, but if it helps other people feel good, then I’ll tell the story.'”
Now Noah has a message for other kids fighting cancer.
“Cancer is terrible,” he said. “But just keep fighting, keep having dreams, and one day they’ll come true.”