Wayzata Student Named ‘Hometown Hero’ at Vikings Game, Receives Super Bowl Tickets
As a football player, Jack Simon is no stranger to the weight room.
But earlier this year, the junior from Wayzata High School ventured into unfamiliar territory when he was diagnosed with stage 2, Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“I was diagnosed on April 21, the day after I turned 16,” Simon said. “So I went through four months of treatment and then I got my scans done and I’m ultimately in remission right now.”
Throughout that entire ordeal, Simon kept working out and stayed focused on football.
His hard work kept him on the field.
“I kept playing all summer, even when it was hard,” he said.
On Oct. 7 when Wayzata played Maple Grove, Simon and his teammates raised money to support cancer research through the sale of T-shirts and bandanas.
While Wayzata ultimately lost that game, it was just one example of Simon supporting a cause that’s been near and dear to his heart.
Simon recently launched a fundraising campaign called “Simon Strong” that has raised more than $9,000 for the Randy Shaver Cancer Research & Community Fund.
“When I was diagnosed, I realized I could turn this really bad situation into something really special,” Simon said.
The Minnesota Vikings agreed.
During a timeout of the Oct. 9 game against the Chicago Bears, the Vikings honored Simon as their Hometown Hero. The team played a video detailing his story, and at the conclusion of the video, the Vikings had Simon, his family and his Wayzata teammates come onto the field.
The team then presented Simon with a special surprise.
“Jack, you are going to the Super Bowl,” exclaimed Vikings’ Public Address Announcer Alan Roach.
Simon received two free tickets to Super Bowl LVII in Arizona as a way of saying thanks for his impact to the community.
Now, he just has to decide which of his parents to take to the big game.
“I told my parents, I said, whoever treats me the best in the next couple months, it’s theirs,” Simon said.