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Peyton Manning Children's Hospital patient designs Peyton Manning's cleats

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Posted at 10:51 PM, Dec 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-27 23:39:37-05

INDIANAPOLIS — An eight-year-old who battled cancer this year got a huge honor from a local legend. His shoe design will benefit more kids who have to spend time at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital (PMCH).

"I put on the side #JosiahStrong because of my brain tumor. I am strong," Josiah Carel said.

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Since Josiah was 8-months-old, PMCH has been like a second home for him and his family.

"He's had numerous stays for his asthma. He had benign childhood neutropenia and he also has low-grade glioma of brain tumor," Chrissy Carel, Josiah’s mother, said.

The hospital represents the painful fight for his life.

"A parent’s worst nightmare. There are days — months — that have been taken away from your kid and you can't ever get that back," Chrissy said.

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However, Josiah tells WRTV some of his most cherished moments at the hospital are when he gets to see his favorite team up close and personal.

"I got to meet Kenny Moore and Anthony Richardson. I played catch with them," Josiah said.

One day, Josiah visited PMCH for an event where patients designed shoes.

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"I colored it blue and black, and I put my slogan on it #braintumorsuck," Josiah said.

The event was part of the NFL's "My Cause, My Cleats," where players pick an important cause and wear their support on their feet.

"When we left that day, I didn't think anything about it. A couple of months later we got an email saying that his had been selected, and Peyton Manning was going to unveil it on Peyton and Eli’s broadcast. I cried," Chrissy said.

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He's not on the field anymore, but Peyton's cleats are up for auction by the NFL.

Proceeds from Josiah’s custom shoes will benefit PMCH.

“I wanted to get picked and then I did," Josiah said.

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It is a special recognition from one legend to another.

“Every time I watch it, it gives me chills. That's an honor. He's a legend himself. I was telling Josiah one day you'll be lucky to meet him. He may not understand it to a degree right now, but when he gets older, he will," Chrissy said.