Local 12 year-old cancer patient meets Packers

Published On: May 19 2013 08:37:29 PM CDT   Updated On: May 19 2013 11:02:39 PM CDT
Randall Cobb Loehrl
TOMAH, Wis. -

The Packers Tailgate Tour stop in Tomah benefited Tomah Area Cancer Support. Zach Loehrl is the youngest patient the non-profit helps, and it's safe to say they helped him Friday.

Loehrl attended a private event at Burnstad's, where he met Randall Cobb, Alex Green, and Aaron Taylor, among other current and former members of the Green and Gold. It was a day Loehrl had been anticipating for a long time.

In January 2010, he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and he has faced three major complications on his road to recovery.

"He had to completely learn how to do everything. He was so weak from being in the bed, he had to learn how to sit up, how to stand, how to walk," said his mom, Christina. "It's hard. No parent should have to watch their child go through anything remotely like this."

Because of the medication, Zach doesn't remember much from the last three years. Christina, however, said she feels he'll remember meeting the Packers.

"It's just another positive to help him take away from all the negatives. So when he looks back on this 10 years from now, he's not going to focus on, getting stuck in the hospital. It'll be the positive things he got to do, the places he got to go, and meeting the Packers."

Zach was shy, and didn't tell many players he had cancer. But he did tell wide receiver Randall Cobb.

"I think that's the biggest thing, is to show him we're normal people and to be around him and talk to him," Cobb said. "It's a great feeling, when we get back on the bus and talk about the little things."

A little thing for Randall Cobb, however, was a big thing for Zach.

"It's a good memory to store away instead of all the bad ones," Christina said. "It's a good moment for him to remember, and us to remember for quite a while."