High school freshman Geno LaMonaca was looking for a distraction, and he got much more than that Sunday night.
At a Super Bowl watch party inside the Boston Marriott in Peabody, Massachusetts, Eagles fans were rooting for so much more than the Philadelphia football team.
“Boston is known for being supportive of their own, same thing with Philadelphia, it’s just great to be able to show him some brotherly love even though he’s not in Philly," said Peabody Police Sgt. Jim Harkins, who was hosting the party for LaMonaca.
The 15-year-old Eagles fan from Pennsylvania is in Massachusetts with his family as he prepares to have a brain tumor removed at Boston Children's Hospital on Monday.
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“This is actually awesome because I think all we were doing tonight was just going to watch in the hotel room by ourselves but to be here is pretty nice,” the teen said.
It all started when Sgt. Harkins says he saw a Facebook post from LaMonaca's mom, asking local Eagles fans for a place to watch the game.
The sergeant rented the space, invited Philly fans and even set up a raffle to help cover costs.
“It’s truly awesome, just seeing the smile on his face every time somebody comes up and wishes him well,” Harkins said.
The night included a special visit from 14-year-old Olivia Silva, who was diagnosed with brain cancer when she was two years old. The Peabody cancer survivor went to the watch party with her mom Sunday night to offer encouragement and to say good luck.
The Super Bowl didn't end the way LaMonaca had hoped, with the Kansas City Chiefs coming back to beat the Eagles 38-35, but the teen says he is so appreciative of what the police sergeant did for him on Sunday.
For Harkins part, he says he's simply been inspired by LaMonaca.
"The grace he’s showing going through such a rough situation, it’s an inspiration, it truly is,” he said.
More than $4,000 was raised Sunday for LaMonaca and his family. They were also surprised with Eagles tickets for next season.