Beloved Michigan fan Dametrius Walker dies after two-year cancer battle

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Former high school football star and Michigan Wolverines fan Dametrius “Meechie” Walker died Friday after a two-year battle with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, Michigan announced.

Walker played high school football at Muskegon High School in Muskegon, Michigan and played defensive end. He got scholarship offers from the likes of Kentucky and Michigan State.

His dream, though, was to play for the University of 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.”

In November 2020, Walker was diagnosed with osteosarcoma after noticing a bump on his knee.

He underwent surgery and nine months of chemotherapy, but in 2021, cancer returned. In April 2021, the tumor had grown too large and doctors amputated his left leg. Despite removing the tumor and his leg, cancer continued to spread.

After news that Walker was fighting for his life reached the Michigan football team, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh invited Walker to practice on Aug. 13, 2022 to meet the team and be a part of the Michigan program.

“Meechie was hurting so bad that day,” Bell said to Wojciechowski. “His whole body was just in excruciating pain and he just smiled like nothing ever happened. Like he wasn’t even in pain.”

Walker had lost 70 pounds but was fighting every day and told Wojciechowski he knew he had to be strong for his son.

“I try my hardest to show him that Daddy is in pain,” Walker said. “But Daddy will always love you and I will always be here until the day I die.”

Walker attended Michigan’s game against Maryland on Sept. 24 and wore a jersey with Meechie on the back.

An outpour of memories and heartfelt messages were shared on social media by teammates, coaches and Michigan players.

“We lost a true embodiment of what it means to be a Michigan Man. Meechie and I texted weekly about his experience and outlook on life,” Punter Brad Robbins wrote. “Whenever he was in our facility and around our team, he was so positive and always had a huge smile on his face.”

Walker is survived by his mother, Leona Bell, and son, Kymere.


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