16-year-old Saints superfan Markell Gregoire dies after long battle with cancer


NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 25: Kenny Vaccaro of the Texas Longhorns, stands with 13-year-old Markell Gregoire (L) and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (R) as they hold up a jersey on stage after he was picked #15 overall by the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 25, 2013 in New York City. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – The Saints superfan who announced Kenny Vaccaro as the team’s first-round draft pick in 2013 has lost his battle with cancer. Markell Gregoire was 16 years old.

In 2009, Gregoire was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer.

In 2013, St. Jude had flowed the New Iberia High School senior to New York for the NFL Draft. As part of the experience, Gregoire stood on the Radio City Music Hall stage and announced the Saints first round pick in front of a national television audience.

After the announcement, Saints Head Coach Sean Payton asked him to visit the team in new Orleans. Gregoire attended a few Saints practices and games and developed a friendship with Payton and the players.

“We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our friend Markell,” the Saints released in a statement. “He was a true Saints fan and he showcased an incredible spirit when he visited us. We send our prayers to the family and friends of Markell.”



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