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Blue Earth family heading to Super Bowl

By Staff | Jan 28, 2018

Blue Earth Area Elementary and Middle School principal Melissa McGuire will take her son, Sullivan, also known as Sully, to Super Bowl LII on Sunday, Feb 4. The New England Patriots will take on the Philadelphia Eagles at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

Unfortunately for Minnesota Vikings fans, their beloved team will not be a part of this year’s Super Bowl after a complete meltdown in the NFC Championship round of the playoffs. However, that will not stop two Blue Earth residents from going to the big game on Feb. 4.

Hyundai Hope on Wheels, a non-profit organization which helps support children in their fight against cancer, has donated a pair of Super Bowl tickets to Mayo Clinic Children’s Center patient Sullivan “Sully” McGuire.

Pediatric patients from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester were placed on a short list of candidates to receive the Super Bowl tickets. As it turned out, McGuire was the patient selected to receive the gift.

Sully will be accompanied by his mother Melissa to U.S. Bank Stadium for the Super Bowl. Obviously, the McGuires are thrilled they have the chance to witness the year’s biggest sporting event in person.

“We’re just excited to be able to have the opportunity to go and promote awareness of pediatric cancer with Hyundai Hope on Wheels,” said Melissa McGuire.

In addition to receiving Super Bowl tickets, the McGuires will arrive to the big game in style with limousine transportation, also provided by Hyundai Hope on Wheels.

As part of the gameday experience, 12 year-old Sullivan has been provided with a GoPro camera to record his Super Bowl experience. Hyundai Hope on Wheels will share some of Sully’s video posts on social media outlets which include Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

On Jan. 5, the date of a routine checkup at Rochester, Sully was told he would be receiving tickets to this year’s Super Bowl. More importantly, he was also informed by Dr. Paul Galardy he does not have to return to the clinic for the next four months.

Unfortunately, it has not always been fun and games for young Sully. In 2012, he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his left leg at the tender age of seven. In February 2013, he had a rotationplasty to remove the tumor in the leg, as well as a portion of the limb.

Since then, the cancer has metastasized to his lungs on five separate occasions. With five thoracotomies along the way, Sully has also been diagnosed with Li-Fraumeni syndrome; a genetic predisposition to cancer.

Rather than looking to the gridiron for inspiration in dealing with this illness, Sully looks to his father Ryan for guidance. Ryan McGuire, who works in the maintenance department for the city of Blue Earth, is also a carrier of the Li-Fraumeni syndrome. Like his son, Ryan also undergoes testing every year to monitor any cancerous growths.

While the older McGuire didn’t experience any issues with cancer until he was 39 years old, he has lost several family members to the disease. Through it all, the special bond between father and son has helped the pair battle through overwhelming adversity.

“He keeps telling me to never give up and to keep pushing through it,” Sullivan McGuire says of his father.

With the Vikings falling short of the Super Bowl, Sully revealed he and his older brother Rylee will be rooting for the New England Patriots.

In particular, the McGuire boys are anticipating Patriot quarterback Tom Brady will win his sixth career Super Bowl. This total would represent an unprecedented number of Super Bowl victories for a single player in NFL history.

“The Patriots are kind of our backup team,” Sully McGuire says. “That would be pretty cool if Tom Brady wins another Super Bowl.”