At first glance, Erik Salminen looks like your average twelve-year-old boy. You would never know that he has been fighting a battle his entire life.
??For a kid to have to fight this, you want to do as much as you can to help him?? said Cathy Phillips, manager of Erik??s soccer team.
Erik had surgery to remove a brain tumor when he was ten months old. Eleven years later at an annual doctor??s visit, an MRI showed that the tumor had returned. Next Thursday his surgery is scheduled at the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin.
??The hardest part about this is that he is twelve, he is just a little guy and it is a big thing for a kid to take on?? said Cathy Phillips. ??It makes you want to hug your kids that much closer and be happy that they are healthy.??
Erik??s soccer team, the Marquette Red Bulls, decided to show their support in a unique way.
??He has a brain tumor, so he needs to get his head shaved so they can open up his head to get to the brain and we are all getting our heads shaved to support him?? said Evan Phillips, Erik??s teammate.
Hunter Sides and Evan Phillips play defense with Erik. They call themselves ??Cleat Power??.
??We are like the three musketeers?? said Hunter Sides.
??He is not allowed to do headers in games, though so that affects him a little bit?? said Evan Phillips.
??Last week at our tournament in Minnesota I promised him that if he does not do any headers, I would not do any headers?? said Hunter Sides.
Erik??s aunt decided to sell shirts to raise money for the surgery. Even though her son is not on the team, he still wanted to help out his cousin.
??The first thing he said as soon as he found out was ??Can I be there for him???. He wants to shave his head, he did it tonight?? said Jill Argall, Erik??s aunt. ??It is just hard on him too.??
To order a Team Erik shirt and keep up with his progress, visit their Facebook page.