Gronk Surprises 7-Year-Old Born With Genetic Disorder - NECN
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Gronk Surprises 7-Year-Old Born With Genetic Disorder

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Star Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski surprised Ryan Feeney, a 7-year-old Massachusetts boy born with a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on his nerves.

    (Published Friday, Sept. 1, 2017)

    A 7-year-old from Melrose, Massachusetts, was born with a genetic disorder. 

    Ryan Feeney was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis when he was four months old. It's a generic disorder that causes tumors to grow on his nerves. 

    "He was born with tibia dysplasia, so we had to amputate his leg at 18 months old," said his dad Shawn Feeney. 

    Although it's been a long road with nearly six doctor’s visits a month, his family said his positive attitude keeps him going 

    "His nickname is Ryno and he says ‘I'm like a rhino, I like to just keep charging forward,’" said his dad. 

    Feeney has a tumor in his brain that's impacting his vision but his mom said his spirit is still strong. 

    "He's doing flag football, soccer, he skis, he ice skates," said his mom Jill Feeney. "Just seeing that, I know he's a strong kid." 

    Feeney's family, friends and Melrose High School football players and cheerleaders were on hand for Friday's "tailgate" reveal. 

    His backyard looked like a real stadium. The field had white painted yard lines, goal posts, bleachers, signage and even the Patriots logo center field. 

    "It's so cool," said Feeney. 

    Surprises didn't end with just a transformation of his backyard. Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and Pat Patriot, the Patriots mascot, surprised Feeney and his family. 

    "He's very cool," said Feeney. "I didn't know he was coming but I knew someone was coming as a Patriots player." 

    He's a true Patriots fan. Feeney wears the gear and even put the logos on his prosthetic leg, which Gronkowski signed. 

    "To come out here, put a smile on this kid's face, is something special," said Gronkowski. 

    Feeney also opened gifts from Gronkowski and Make A Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He got a custom Make A Wish jersey numbered 77, autographed memorabilia and more. 

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