In the middle of chemotherapy and radiation, a middle school student with cancer was extremely weak – he couldn’t be in large crowds or even in the sun – but that didn’t stop him from going to a local air show where he met a very special Marine.
Jose Velazquez Jr. found a lump on his neck and was later diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, causing him to miss much of eighth grade for treatment.
But missing the Miramar Air Show? That’s where Jose Velazquez Jr. drew the line.
“We normally watch the Blue Angels,” Jose Velazquez Sr. told NBC 7, referring to the historic U.S. Navy flight demonstration squadron.
So, Jose Velazquez Jr. and his dad sat in the car in the parking lot at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar to watch the show in September 2018.
That’s when Marine Cpl. Peter Postic spotted the father-son duo and was about to ask them to move before Jose Velazquez Sr. explained his son’s condition.
“He was very compassionate – compassionate, and he allowed us to stay,” the father said.
Postic took a photo with Jose Velazquez Jr. and reminded him to be “strong like a Marine.”
“It was a pretty nice thing to say, though – very encouraging,” Jose Velazquez Jr. told NBC 7.
In early 2019, Jose Velazquez Jr. was officially cancer free. Though months later, he still remembered the Marine’s kindness. And on Sunday, Jose Velazquez Jr. reunited with Postic for a special tour of the base.
“He looks great. He looks like a bright, young kid,” Postic said after the tour.
The Marine said the entire experience was a good reminder “to have compassion, to hear everyone’s story,” and to try and give a helping hand.
Grateful, Jose Velazquez Sr. thanked Postic, as well as the San Diego community and staff at Rady Children's Hospital for their love and support.