The Simsbury community has launched its high school football season, but this year the team will have one less player because of some health troubles off the field.
Danny Dietz, the son of CBS Survivor star Terry Dietz, had some serious heart trouble that will keep him off the football field.
Even though he wasn’t on the field Friday night, his friends made sure he wasn’t forgotten.
“He's a great kid. Always happy. Always positive, friendly,” said friend Molly Rosenberg. “In June, right when school was ending, he went to the hospital and was there almost all summer but he was super positive.”
Dietz, a high school junior, learned he had an enlarged heart and would need surgery.
His diagnosis was a surprise to his friends because of how athletic he was. He plays on the football and lacrosse teams.
“He’s such a normal kid. So it didn't seem like anything would be wrong. I was so surprised,” Rosenberg said.
As Dietz waited for a new heart, the players and other students from Simsbury High School rallied around him.
They created “Danny Strong” t-shirts with a quote that said “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.”
On the other side of the shirt was a way to honor Dietz on social media with his very own hashtag #DannyStrong.
“A lot of people have them. A lot of people have been wearing them to school,” Rosenberg said.
Dietz was originally scheduled to flip the coin to start off Friday’s game, but after getting word that a Boston hospital had a heart for him, he had to cancel.
“It was tough on everyone especially those that were extremely close to him,” Rosenberg said.
The coach tweeted on Friday that Dietz was moving to the ICU.
The coach also said the team is planning on doing something for Dietz once he comes back to Simsbury.
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