MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - 14-year-old Cecilia Bergren cuddled up with her seizure alert dog on Wednesday after getting home from school and learning that Minnesota Gopher Football Coach Jerry kill had retired.
"I was almost crying,” Cecilia said. "Jerry Kill is an idol, a mentor, a hero to me.”
Cecilia was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of four. She found a role model and friend in Coach Kill who visited with her and other kids at Camp Oz, a special week-long camp for children suffering from seizures.
"He's a rockstar,” Cecilia said.
Kill also invited her and other kids to gopher football practices and games.
“I have seen him put an arm around Cecilia, ask her how she’s doing,” her mom Theresa Bergren said. “She just lights up. I think she gets a lot of courage from watching him fight."
Doctor Paul Atkinson with the Minnesota Epilepsy Group said Coach Kill has touched many lives -- "He's a hero for what he has done before, and a hero for what he is doing now."