My Game: The Story of Miguel Andrade - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

My Game: The Story of Miguel Andrade

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When one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the world arrives in San Sebastian Spain this summer, it will have one of Acadiana's budding soccer stars.

Miguel Andrade, 12, is training for his international debut. It comes about 19 months after doctors gave him a life-altering diagnosis.

“When your child is in a lot of pain, you want to make it stop,” said Miguel’s mom Natalia.

Miguel is like most soccer-loving sixth graders. Miguel says he started playing when he was 6, 5, 4, yes 4, his mom tells us. But what you can’t see from the pitch, is the fight on the inside of his body.

Miguel has Crohn's Disease.

It’s a painful bowel disease that affects about 1 in every 1,700 kids in the US.

The only thing scarier than his diagnosis for his family is perhaps what followed, a chemotherapy-like treatment.

"That in itself was really scary,” said Natalia. “It comes with a long list of things you don't even want to think about. We had to do our research, pray about it and involve Miguel. This is his body, this is his life."

Miguel would rather we spend less time on his fight, and more time on his game. Something that's turning heads of international soccer scouts.

This summer while visiting relatives in San Antonio, TX, he attended a soccer camp hosted by F.C. Barcelona.

There Miguel recruited was to join 40 players from across the U.S. to play on an American team in the Donosti Cup this summer.

“He, of course, had a big smile and some tears,” said Natalia. “Then he didn't feel well. He couldn't eat dinner, and he never misses dinner.

“I prayed for it,” said Miguel. “I didn't expect it, but it happened.”

“His competitiveness is unmatched,” said Michael Ritch, executive director of the Cajun Soccer Club in Lafayette. “You can see it when he steps on against someone else. It's kind of like the little fire in the eye. His competitiveness comes out. You can see it in tryouts, sessions, whatever it is he wants to compete, battle, and be the best.”

Miguel travels to Spain in June to compete against teams from all across the world. If you’d like to support his trip check out his GoFundMe page here.

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