Syracuse family bleeds blue after medical crisis

Syracuse family bleeds blue after medical crisis (Photo Credit: Elaina Athans, WTVD)
February 22, 2014 3:23:48 PM PST
A man born, raised, and living in Syracuse will not be rooting for his home team in Saturday's game.

It seems unlikely, but he and his family are die-hard Duke fans after a medical crisis turned them into Blue Devils for life.

Brian Curtis, along with his son, drove 11 hours from upstate New York to Durham to attend Saturday's game. He even had a Blue Devils tattoo on his arm.

Curtis says he only became a die-hard fan after university doctors saved his daughter Madeline's life.

Madeline was a patient at Duke University Hospital. At 18-months-old, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

The family saw numerous doctors, as far away as California, to get her the care and help that she needed.

She was given four to 18 months to live, that was until she began treatment at Duke.

"In one phone call I spoke to the head of neurology at Duke University and spoke with Dr. Friedman and said 'doc you know with all due respect why can you say you can help my daughter when all these other facilities are saying no' and he said this is what we do. We deal with thousands of cases a year," said Curtis.

His daughter Madeline is now doing fine. She has not had any other serious health complications.

She is now in 11th grade, runs track, and cross-country. Next year, she will graduate from high school. Curtis is hoping Duke is one of her top picks to attend college.

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