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It’s not always about the big stars wearing the jerseys.

Sometimes it’s a story about a man from a city in the Rust Belt about to turn 40. A man, who at one point, wondered if he’d make it to 26.

My twin brother.

We grew up in Saginaw, Michigan with humble parents who, above all else, wanted us to be happy. But at age 25, my twin discovered he had cancer ravaging inside of him.

RELATED: We Should All Try to Live Like We Have Cancer

He had to fight.

And fight, he did.

After that victory, that’s where he started to grow from the rubble. He dreamed of working in the NFL in sales but knew he’d have to start at the bottom and in a city he didn’t know.

So, he ventured to Charlotte, North Carolina to live in a cement square of a shack and grind it out for the Bobcats. When I visited him, he wouldn’t even show me his place.

But his grit continued to bloom.

Finally, he moved to sunny Tampa, Florida. The Buccaneers embraced him and he worked 12 hard seasons for them, eventually becoming the Vice President of Sales.

Last night, that Super Bowl victory was for him, too. For all the unsung heroes.

Finally, my brother got to inhale the smell of his hard work.

RELATED: All Sports Parents Should Read This Patrick Mahomes Letter With Their Kids

And how sweet it was.

Even without a jersey on.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page.

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Angela Anagnost-Repke

Angela-Anagnost Repke is a writer and writing instructor dedicated to raising two empathetic children. She hopes that her graduate degrees in English and counseling help her do just that. Since the pandemic, Angela and her family have been rejuvenated by nature and moved to northern Michigan to allow the waves of Lake Michigan to calm their spirits. She has been published in Good Housekeeping, Good Morning America, ABC News, Parents, Romper, and many more. She is currently at-work on her nonfiction parenting book, Wild Things by Nature: How an Unscientific Parent Can Give Nature to Their Wild Things. Follow Angela on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram  

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