Ahead of this weekend’s showdown with the Charleston Battery, Louisville City FC signed Drew Esposito — better known as “Super Drew” — to a one-game contract in partnership with Norton Children’s.
The 8-year-old is plenty versatile, excelling in the attack and enjoying the goalkeeper position. He also survived a cancerous brain tumor discovered on Christmas Eve of 2018 and continues using his special powers to inspire other children battling the disease.
Super Drew put pen to paper on his contract Thursday morning before taking part in his first session with the boys in purple at the Lynn Family Sports Vision & Training Center. He’ll be available for selection as LouCity kicks off at 8 p.m. Saturday inside Lynn Family Stadium.
“This is a special day here at Louisville City,” said head coach Danny Cruz. “We are excited to be able to sign Drew to our team. This young boy is a fighter — an inspiration to myself and the players in the locker room. Who better to help inspire a team to leave everything on the field, to not take one moment for granted than Super Drew?
“We are thankful to Norton Children’s for taking such great care of Drew and for making this moment possible.”
Super Drew hit LouCity’s radar while attending soccer camp this summer. Coaches found him to be fast, competitive and a solid role model — all ideal characteristics for a City player.
He’s also resilient. Super Drew underwent surgery on Christmas Day of 2018 followed by three rounds of high-dose chemotherapy and two bone marrow transplants to fend off his cancer.
After more than 150 days in the Addison Jo Blair Cancer Care Center at Norton Children’s Hospital, Super Drew was released in August of 2019. He remains in remission.
“Our team at Norton Children’s is extremely proud of Drew and excited for him to have this unique experience,” said Emmett Ramser, chief administrative officer at Norton Children’s Hospital. “Norton Children’s Cancer Institute treats more than 3,000 patients, and we see success stories like Drew’s every day. We appreciate LouCity for making a difference and creating a memory that will last a lifetime.”
Parents Jeremy and Sondra Esposito formed “Super Drew’s Crew” on the heels of their son’s diagnosis and subsequent treatment. The initiative has so far fundraised more than $130,000 toward Norton Children’s Cancer Institute through Norton Children’s Hospital Foundation. Visit https://p2p.onecause.com/nchchampionsforkids/tribute/superdrew-for-7-west to donate or volunteer your time to the effort.
“We have been lucky to have partners like Norton Children’s and LouCity to make Drew feel like he is so special,” said Sondra and Jeremy Esposito. “As a cancer survivor there are plenty of tough moments, so the special ones like these are so very important.”
In addition to his team roles on Saturday, Super Drew will, aptly, be recognized at halftime as the Norton Children’s Superhero of the Game — a fan-favorite opportunity to recognize those living life to the fullest despite obstacles in their way.