Teen with health issues inspires others

Published On: Nov 15 2012 11:37:11 AM HST

A high school senior with serious health issues is sharing a life-affirming message with everyone.

Grant Goetze was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 6. Several operations were performed to remove a tumor from his head, which left him deaf in one ear.

Goetze spent a lot of time in the hospital. But he didn't let that stop him from living a full life and inspiring others along the way.

"With all my problems I've had in my life, it's definitely made me a stronger person, and I've been able to carry more weight on my shoulders," he said.

Goetze is winning the fight with courage and strength -- and he's raising awareness by selling T-shirts and wristbands to  help other children.

"I've been in their shoes before. I know what they have to deal with, and any advice and consolation I can give them to ease some of that pain or trouble they are having, that's rewarding to me," Goetze said.

The Sewickley Academy senior remembers his Make-A-Wish trip to Detroit, where he met his hero, Red Wings hockey player Sergei Federov. Years later, the memory still touches his heart.

"It was really wonderful, actually, just the whole experience, meeting him through Make-A-Wish,  just went the whole nine yards for us, and just getting to meet him in person and talk to him and be on his level, was just really rewarding for me," Goetze said. "He was my favorite player. I was really scared and nervous to talk to him. Being someone so famous, I was just shaking as a 6-year-old."

That's why Goetze is giving back, fighting to fulfill wishes, selling the bands and shirts he designed and working to find a cure for other girls and boys.

"I want to do the same for the kid who's 6 years old, hoping to one day become a normal kid and not have to worry about his diabetes," Goetze said.

"I want that little boy or that little girl being diagnosed tonight to not give up hope because a cure is on the way," said his mother, Reyne O'Shaughnessy-Goetze.


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