CAPE CORAL, Fla. - The remarkable dream for Eddie Buggs could soon get bigger. He's the young Cape Coral football player who lost his battle to cancer just weeks ago. If there's any solace for Eddie's family, it's seeing his goal of appearing on ESPN come true.
From a young age, it was pretty clear Eddie Buggs was destined for the big leagues. "We called him 'lightning buggs' because when he had the ball, he was gone," cousin Frankie Dodd said.
He grew up in Pittsburgh, later moving to Cape Coral. Dodd remembers watching a game in awe as his cousin intercepted the football with just one hand. "And, you hear everybody in the stands, who is this Buggs kid?" Dodd said.
But, triumph turned to tragedy for Eddie and his family. "I've got bad news, Vine," Buggs said in a video on his Vine account. "I was just diagnosed with spinal cancer. I just need you all to keep praying for me."
The Cape Youth Football Association rallied around the teen as he took on his toughest opponent. "I would say that young man has the biggest heart and has touched so many people out there to fight the fight that he has and show that you never give up," Todd Williams from the association said.
December 28th, Eddie passed away. But, he still had goals to accomplish. "Tat was one of his big dreams, just to be a football player and be on ESPN," Buggs' aunt Samantha Sites said.
Family, friends, and strangers from around the world came up with a game plan. Through thousands of hashtags, tweets, Facebook posts and likes, Eddie's story spread quickly. Tuesday, he got his wish when a clip of his interception appeared online on ESPN's SportsNation. "I broke down. It's just unbelievable. Goosebumps all over my body," Buggs' coach Mike Urraro said.
It's proof, that even in the darkest of times, there is hope. It's also a reminder to live as Eddie lived. "Vever give up," Williams said. "Always fight."
Eddie's mother, Tiffany Knight posted on Facebook, "I know my angel has the biggest smile on his face knowing this dream of his has come true."
This could just be the start. People on the "Get Eddie Buggs on ESPN" page are now trying to spread his message to more shows like "Ellen" and "Good Morning America."