Aaron Rodgers’ tender interview with cancer survivor turned reporter

Local News

GREEN BAY, Wisc. (WFRV) – A Wisconsin girl battling cancer realized one of her dreams is to interview her favorite Packers player.

But the interview was anything but kid stuff.

Itzel Mercado, 10, of Milwaukee, tells Local Five’s Michele McCormack she was very nervous.

But when she found out Aaron Rodgers liked the same kind of ice cream, it broke the ice for a lengthy and oftentimes touching exchange between the two.

Mercado discovered that Rodgers would love to have a superpower like flying or breathing underwater.

Rodgers then spoke about Itzel’s own super-strength having just completed a two-year battle with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Itzel’s combination of poise and strength is the reason why the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation wanted the two to meet.

When Itzel asked Rodgers about his hero, he spoke of NFL player turned Army Ranger Pat Tillman who walked away from the NFL to serve in the Army where he was killed in action.

“I think he’s like you and me,” said Rodgers to Itzel. “He questioned things and spoke his mind.”

He then turned the tables on this kid reporter asking her about her hero.

“Kids who have gone through cancer,” answered Itzel. “And myself.”

The MVP Quarterback then raised his arms in a fist pump to cheer on her answer.

Later, when talking with a fellow reporter about the experience, Itzel offered this parting thought.

“Don’t give up on your dreams. Be strong. Never give up.”

On March 11th, Itzel’s interview will be part of the “50 Faces of Cancer Fundraiser.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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