Yep, I'm going there. While everyone suggested the 12th man guy who paints his face and wears the Jaguars head every game in the North Endzone, I made an executive decision. To me, far and away Luke Akerstrom is the Jacksonville Jaguars "Boldest Fan," and it's not close.
Luke is a 6-year old Jaguars fan who suffers from a rare disease called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis. Luke suffered a siezure while riding in the car on December 31st and since then has slowly began to regain his health, which included the loss of the use of the left side of his body and nearly his ability to speak. Luke spent about a month in Wolfson's Children Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida before being moved to Brooks Rehabilitation center. That is where Luke met "Mr. Brad Meester", as Luke calls him, the Jaguars starting center.
Meester and Luke quickly developed a relationship. "One of my daughters is the same age, exact same age as he is," Brad Meester said. "We kept going back every week to see him. Every week we kept working harder to see him." On June 21st, Luke was able to move his legs for the first time since his initial seizure.
Back in August during Jaguars training camp, Luke woke up at 5 A.M. It was like one of those nights before Christmas, I imagine. You know, when you can't get to sleep and when you finally do you wake up way earlier than necessary wide awake and ready? That was Luke. He was going to see the Jaguars practice at 10:30 that morning. Luke hadn't had a visit from Meester in a good while because training camp had started. He couldn't wait to get out there and see him.
Luke wanted to make sure when he saw Brad Meester at practice, he would walk to him. Luke told his mom Brandi Akerstrom, "Mommy I have to walk because Jaguars don't roll, they run."