The smile on Jerardo Lopez' face might be there for a long, long time.
"It's not ever going away," said Lopez, the smile growing bigger by the second.
The Steelers grant the wish of a young fan from Oxnard, CA.
It's easy to understand why. Lopez, a 17-year old from Oxnard, California, had his dream come true on Friday, thanks to the Steelers and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Lopez, who has battled leukemia, was at Steelers practice at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on Friday and will attend Sunday's game at Heinz Field. For him, it's the opportunity of a lifetime.
"I really like the Steelers," said Lopez. "I have been a big fan since I saw Troy Polamalu play. When I got diagnosed, my dream was to come and meet the Steelers.
"It's been everything I hoped for. Everyone has been so nice to me."
And from what Lopez said, it was even more than he hoped for. After practice the players surrounded Lopez on the field, signing his jersey and football, and posing for pictures. And then he went inside the facility, where he had the chance to talk with some of his favorites, including Ben Roethlisberger, Bud Dupree and Antonio Brown.
"It was amazing when I got to see them, and having a conversation with them was even better," said Lopez. "I am really grateful for that. They were asking me questions and greeting me. I thought they would just pass by me and say hi, but they all stopped, took pictures, and had a conversation with me. It was amazing."
And with that, the smile continued.