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Former Iowa football star coaches fourth annual Rally for Reid football camp
Former Iowa football star coaches fourth annual Rally for Reid football camp

DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) – The Rally for Reid Foundation is raising money for childhood cancer treatment and held its fourth annual Rally for Reid football camp at Assumption High School.

Reid Gleeson died of medulloblastoma, a type of cancer, at the age of 5. After his death, his family founded the Rally for Reid Foundation in honor of their son.

“Our mission is to support families and children affected by childhood cancer and to raise funds for childhood brain tumor research,” said Megan Gleeson, Reid’s mother and executive director of the Rally for Reid Foundation.

Former Iowa Hawkeyes and LA Rams football player Jake Gervase visited Reid in the hospital and was close to him.

“I had the idea that we could try to do a football camp together, you know, the Rally for Reid football camp, to raise money for your foundation and at the same time introduce the great sport of football to the young kids in the Quad Cities and the state of Iowa,” Gervase said.

Children in kindergarten through eighth grade learned from current NFL and former University of Iowa Hawkeye football players.

“To be able to honor him in this way is really special and you know, football is a great way to do that with its connections, teammates and opportunities,” Gervase said.

Another former Hawkeye and current Lions player, Ben Niemann, helped Gervase organize the Rally for Reid football camp.

“Jake and I actually went and visited Reid in the hospital,” Niemann said. “We met the family there, and when this camp came along, it was a no-brainer to get involved.”

Jack Heflin, a Prophetstown native and current Saints player, says it was an honor for Gervase to ask him to help coach at the camp.

“It’s incredible,” Heflin said. “It’s a great opportunity to come back and give back to the community, especially since I’m from the area and I get to meet Jake and Reid’s parents. I mean, it’s just an incredible organization.”

Megan Gleeson says it means a lot to her family to continue doing this for Reid and other families.

“We’re just overwhelmed by the support we’ve gotten from the community, the support we’ve gotten from these camp coaches,” Gleeson said. “I mean, we have some big names here every year, and they come here and have so much fun with the kids. It’s just so heartwarming to see when we see how many of Reid’s friends, a lot of our local friends, come here year after year to support us.”

According to Gleeson, they have raised more than $250,000 for the Rally for Reid Foundation over the past three years.

By Liam