Dametrius “Meechie” Walker, a former high school football star and noted Michigan Wolverines fan died Friday after battling with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.
Walker was invited to meet the Michigan Wolverines on August 13, 2022, and practice with the team after news of his illness reached Michigan football head coach Jim Harbaugh. “Meechie was hurting so bad that day,” Walker’s mother said. “His whole body was just in excruciating pain and he just smiled like nothing ever happened. Like he wasn’t even in pain.”
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He was invited back to attend Michigan’s game against Maryland on September 24. He donned a signed Michigan jersey with his nickname, Meechie, on the back. At the time, he was in a wheelchair and he was taken onto the field as his arrival was announced over the loudspeaker.
Who was Meechie Walker?
Walker was a star defensive end at Muskegon High School in Muskegon, Michigan. He received scholarship offers from Kentucky, but his dream was to one day play for Michigan. “The team, the coaching staff, just the way they did things,” Walker told ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski in October. “The way they carry themselves, I just love that about them.”
His dream came crashing down in November 2020, after he noticed a bump on his knee. He got diagnosed with osteosarcoma.
Nine months of chemotherapy and surgery later, the cancer returned in 2021. By April 2021, the tumor had grown so bog that the doctors had to amputate his left leg. Despite that, the cancer continued to spread.
He is survived by his mother, Leona Bell, and 2-year-old son, Kymere.
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Tributes for Meechie Walker
Tributes started pouring in for Meechie Walker after news of his death went viral on social media.
“RIP Meechie Walker. The FOX piece this fall on him and his connection to Michigan had me literally sobbing. Such a tragic story, but I’m thrilled Meechie got the chance to live out his dream before his life was snatched away from him far too soon. Prayers up to the Walker family,” one Twitter user wrote, while another noted, “RIP Meechie. You touched so many with your strength.”
One more said, “I Would Like To Send My Condolences to the Michigan Football Team, University of Michigan, and most importantly the Friends and Family for the passing of Meechie Walker.” Another user noted, “This Picture shows everything that Meechie Was about it speaks volume RIP Meechie Walker.”
A Twitter user wrote, “RIP Meechie Gone way too soon.” One more commented, “Damn, this his heartbreaking. Take NOTHING for granted. RIP Meechie.” Another tweeted, “Devastating news today. RIP Meechie Walker. Way too young to go. Keep his family in your thoughts.”