WR Rod Streater invited Michael Montes to the Raiders Friday practice. Streater met 10-year old Michael in a program called CoachArt. "They work with a bunch of kids and they pretty much take mentors and have them hang out," explained Streater. "It's like a seven to eight week program where we hang out with the kids and do fun things. I picked Michael."
Michael is in the fight of his life, suffering from Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. As a big Raiders fan, it was his dream to spend time with the men in Silver and Black. "It was just awesome. To be able to come out and be amongst professional football players, it's Michael's dream," said Michael's father, Jose. "All he does is watch them on TV and to be in front of them and meet them is just awesome."
Michael took a tour of the facility, saw a locker created just for him in the locker room and then watched the conclusion of practice. He then was given the honor of breaking down the huddle.
Head Coach Dennis Allen asked the team to give a little extra fight in the game on Sunday in honor of Michael's daily fight. "I was just real proud having him out there and be a part of that," said Montes. "It's something that he's never going to forget; neither will I."
Streater was glad he was able to make one of Michael's dreams come true. "It was cool. For what he's going through, I think it was a bright spot in his day," said Streater. "He was talking about it all week, so I think that really made his day."
Michael finished the day by getting a very special gift from DE Justin Tuck. The veteran defensive lineman came out of the locker room with his helmet and facemask and handed it over to Michael. Tuck has never given anyone his facemask before.
Photo by Tony Gonzales
"Michael doesn't express his feelings out loud, but when we get home he's just going to be going crazy," said Montes. "He's probably going to sleep with the helmet on. He's going to be wearing everything he got. He probably won't even wash the gloves that were given to him all sweaty. He's going to blow up once he gets home. He holds it all in because he's shy, but at home he's going to be going crazy with everything."