Adrian Peterson’s son died earlier this week after losing his battle with cancer. Peterson went to his Facebook page to share the news at 3 a.m. on Tuesday morning, according to NBC Chicago.
Seven-year-old A.J. Peterson was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. The disease forms a tumor on the brain stem, and it is mostly found only in children. Since the boy’s diagnosis, Adrian and his family have used the boy’s illness to make others aware of cancer.
— WGN TV News (@WGNNews) February 17, 2015
According to WTOC, one former teammate, Andre Weathers, spoke out about his friend and the boy’s illness.
“They have made more people aware, and they have used it as a positive.”
Peterson started a GoFundMe page and a Facebook group to keep people up to date on the boy’s illness and his treatment.
Adrian shared a positive message on his last posting on the GoFundMe page just two weeks ago.
“I could be tangled up in all sorts of negative feelings today. Instead, I am feeling blessed. I am happy. AJ too is happy. This morning I asked if he is still going to be a police officer when he grows up…he nodded- yes. I quickly reminded him, ” — Annd a pediatrician right?” He smiled along with the cutest chuckle while nodding again- yes. This made my heart flutter. My goodness that smile. That smile that we rarely see anymore. ——There is a plan. There is a purpose. I could be mad at cancer today for robbing my AJ of all that he should be- all that he could be, yes-but, today, Im not angry. I am feeling blessed, grateful- yes and energized today after being given the chance to rest and regroup.”
It was A.J.’s dream to become a police officer when he grew up. Last month, Make-A-Wish Foundation helped make that boy’s dream a reality. The boy was named a junior reserve officer by the Round Lake Police Department on January 5. His father pinned the badge on his chest during the ceremony.
Mayor Daniel MacGillis spoke out about that day after he learned about the boy’s death, according to The Daily Herald.
“To see him when he was presented with his badge and to see his little face smile and light up – fantastic.”
Adrian Peterson, his son A.J., and their family have received an outpouring of support since the boy was diagnosed with the brain tumor over the summer. The tumor was inoperable, and treatment for the disease is costly. Since the GoFundMe page was started, more than $39,000 has been raised.
Over the weekend, two members of Cheer & Dance Xtreme in Gurnee held a fundraiser in Fox Lake. Adrian and his family did not attend the event. A.J. was fulfilling another of his dreams.
Adrian took his family to Walt Disney World in Orlando. A.J. had a wish to sleep in Cinderella’s Castle, and Make-A-Wish Foundation helped make that dream come true for the boy as well.
Since Adrian posted the sadness of his son’s death on Facebook, many fans have left comments showing their support.
One fan said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. AJ has been and will always be your guardian angel watching over you every step of the way.”
After Adrian’s initial posting on his personal Facebook, he has continued to post updates on AJ’s Facebook page. Funeral services for the boy will be held on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m.
Adrian Peterson played for ten years with the Chicago Bears. During his time as running back with the Bears and in college, he set a number of records. He is now a motivational speaker.
[Photo by Harry How/Getty Images]