Beyond the Game: Federer fan, cancer survivor parts with signed Federer shirt to give back

Jakob Mueller's T-shirt autographed by his hero, Roger Federer (KATV Photo)

For Little Rock Central High School sophomore Jakob Mueller, the only thing more important than his hero, Roger Federer, is tennis itself.

As KATV featured in an August, 2015 Beyond the Game story, the sport was therapeutic for Jakob as he was treated for Hodgkin's lymphoma.

"[Federer] was playing pretty good during that time period, so it was like, in a way, his success was my success," Jakob said.

His cancer has been in remission for two years now.

Naturally, Jakob hoped to meet Federer. His 'Make a Wish' was granted in August, 2015 at the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, New York.

"It was a dream. It was an absolute dream. I still wonder if it was actually real!"

There, Federer signed two T-shirts for Jakob. Despite how sentimental the signature is for him, Jakob decided to give it away Sunday at a fundraiser in Little Rock.

His dad, Mike Mueller, is a nominee for the Arkansas Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Man of the Year. In an effort to raise money, they auctioned off the shirt.

"It was a way of paying it forward in the hopes that other families would benefit in the same way we had support during that really rough period," Mike said.

"I think doing this is one way of turning it back into a positive and helping out others."

"To make someone else happy by auctioning it off, to make someone else feel like they got something special from him, I think it's just as rewarding as keeping it for ourselves," said Jakob.

Click here to donate to Mike's campaign.

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