But then again, Micah Ahern’s incredible impact on everyone he met didn’t relate too much to what he could do on a baseball diamond.
Through a tireless fight against the neuroblastoma (an aggressive form of cancer that primarily affects young children) that he was diagnosed with at 15 months old, Micah inspired the Horned Frogs with his relentless spirit, best summarized in his slogan: Never Ever Give Up.
Micah first became part of the TCU team through a partnership with Massachusetts-based program Team IMPACT, and “signed” with the Frogs in 2014 in a special ceremony.
The slogan turned into a hashtag, #NEGU, and his fight moved Horned Frog players and fans alike.
— #MicahStrong (@cmconatyTCU) June 22, 2016
What TCU has done for Micah is the reason I love my school so much #negu
— Andrew Amoroso (@andrewamoroso) June 22, 2016
ON TO THE NEXT. That one is for you Micah. #NEGU
— TCU STUDENT SECTION (@TCUstudentsect) June 19, 2016
“He’s just such a huge part of this team,” Brian Howard said after TCU’s win over Coastal Carolina in the second game of the College World Series, a game that Micah was able to attend. “We say it a lot, but it’s hard to even give everyone outside of our program an idea of how much he really means to us.”
Seeing Micah before the game was “just awesome,” pitcher Ryan Burnett said.
“Just puts a smile on your face,” Burnett said. “Lets you forget about everything. Just go out there and play baseball, have fun.”
TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle said he was happier more with the positive impact the visit had on Micah than he was with any impact on his team.
“He was enjoying the attention, which he’s more than deserved,” Schlossnagle said. “And anything that brightens his day has just been awesome.”
“So to see a smile on his face and see his mom, she was in a great mood — it’s just great. It’s just great having him around.”
Micah was featured on ESPN before the game, and his story even drew the attention of TCU’s College World Series opponent.
— Coastal Carolina U. (@CCUChanticleers) June 22, 2016
Even though he was smiling at the game, Micah was facing an uphill battle. His mother, Linda, published a heartbreaking Facebook post in early June saying that Micah’s cancer has progressed past the point where chemotherapy and and antibody treatment can be effective.
Throughout the remainder of the CWS, the Frogs honored Micah by playing with a Superman logo on their hats with an “M” replacing the “S” and continuing to send messages of love his way.
— Dane Steinhagen (@DaneSteinhagen) June 12, 2016
On July 28, Micah’s fight ended. He died at 7 years old, surrounded by family in Arlington.
Even after this season ended, TCU continues to celebrate Micah with the creation of the Micah Ahern TCU Baseball Scholarship, announced on Facebook on June 15.
The scholarship will be given to an athlete that never, ever gives up.