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Glatt, Maccagnan host Jets fan once pronounced legally dead

Mike Maccagnan (l) and Neil Glatt (r) flank Louie Gonzalez. All three are wearing #TeJason Koeppel

#TeamLouieis in New Jersey, the culmination of a fundraising effort to bring a New York Jets fan -who has cheated death several times - to see his team play for the first time at MetLife Stadium.

Gonzalez, diagnosed in 2002 following multiple CTscanswitha condition calledhydrocephalus, has endured countless surgeries, been told several times he would likely die and was once pronounced legally dead;subsequenttimeshis family was informedhe would be a vegetableandin another diagnosisthat he might never walkagain. Each and every time Gonzalezhas defied every prognosis, crediting his faith in God. He now walks and talks and plays with his children, leading an active lifestyle. But Gonzalez,originallyfrom New York but now living in Florida, has never seen his Jets play at MetLife Stadium.

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So a bunch of Jets fans led by Jason Koeppel (if that name looks familiar, Koeppel spearheaded the FireJohnIdzik.com movement as well as the banner that flew over New England Patriots practice earlier this summer) led a fundraising effort to make it possible.

All told, fans from across the country raised over $7,000 to fly Gonzalez to MetLife Stadium for this weekend's season opener against the Cleveland Browns. Sideline passes and a parking pass were donated by Demario Davis.

Gonzalez flew up late this past week and was at the team's facility on Friday where he met general manager Mike Maccagnan and team president Neil Glatt.He and his family also received a tour of the team's facility.

"Man I lived a dream. Visiting the facility and meeting Maccagnan," Gonzalez told Metro. "wanted to thank the Jets organization for being so classy and making a small portion of my dream come true. And all of this [is] boiling up for Sunday."

 

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