Red Raider Football Welcomes Six-Year-Old Gunnar Downie

GunnarArticle2The Shippensburg University football team welcomed 6-year-old Gunnar Downie as a member of the Red Raiders on Thursday afternoon in a ceremony held on the 50-yard line at SU Student Association Field at Seth Grove Stadium.

Gunnar was accompanied by members of his family and surrounded by the 2017 Red Raiders as he sat with head coach Mark 'Mac' Maciejewski to sign up for the squad.

Following the press conference, Gunnar ran onto the football field with the offense, took a handoff, and proceeded to run all the way into the end zone for a touchdown. The team lifted him into the air, and following a celebration, he led the team breakdown of "Red Raider Pride."

Gunnar was introduced to the Shippensburg University Football team through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, an organization whose mission is to "improve the quality of life for children and their families battling pediatric brain tumors and other childhood cancers while spreading awareness." He and his family live in Chambersburg.

In June 2016, Gunnar was diagnosed with cancerous brain tumors. Every Monday, Gunnar receives chemotherapy treatments in Hershey. He does this while still attending school – striving to live a normal life while courageously battling cancer.

Gunnar received numerous gifts from the Red Raiders, including a t-shirt, a hat, and tickets to future games. He was also presented with his own locker, in which rests his own helmet and shoulder pads.

A photo gallery detailing Gunnar's visit is linked above, and a video account of Gunnar's visit is available by clicking the "Play" button on the picture above.

For more information on the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, visit www.friendsofjaclyn.org.

This story originally appeared on shipraiders.com.

9.14.17