LEESBURG, Va. (WJLA) -- There are well-wishes from every single one of 12-year-old Mathias Giordano’s sports heroes, who are cheering him on from the sidelines of childhood cancer.
"RGIII, Eli Manning, D.C.United's Omar Gonzales -- they visited me in the hospital," he says.
In May of 2012, Giordano told his parents that his leg hurt. Doctors initially thought it might be growing pains or shin splints, but after a biopsy, they diagnosed him with osteosarcoma – bone cancer.
They found a 21-centimeter tumor from his ankle to his knee, and after that, this left-winger who played soccer five days a week faced 21 rounds of chemotherapy in addition to operations to remove cancer spots on his lungs and the amputation of his right leg.
"It's annoying," says Giordano. "You have to get over it."
And Mathias and his family are getting through it – with a new team made up of friends, neighbors, and strangers.
"You see Mathias' smile?" asks his father, Chris. "It keeps you going...He can conquer anything."
Being the sportsman that he is, Mathias turns the attention to all of his teammates – especially those he has lost.
"My friend I met briefly, he had cancer and passed away. I don't want to meet other people and have them pass away," he says.