KANSAS CITY, Missouri (KTRK) -- An unexpected traveling Texan provided a Kansas City boy the boost he needed while he fights for his life.
The past four years haven't been easy for Bear Cottingham. Instead of playing with siblings, Bear works with therapists to fight back against something trying to take his life.
"We're waiting for him to be physically ready for radiation which is why we're here," Bear's dad, Thomas Cottingham explained.
The 4-year-old suffers from brain cancer, and has an inoperable tumor.
A surgery was supposed to slow its growth, but a recent test showed the opposite.
"It was a gut punch," Bear's mom, Jennifer Cottingham recalled. "You don't ever expect something like that."
Over the past few months, the Cottingham family looked for a much needed boost. They just never thought it would come in the form of a furry friend.
"It tears me up every time," Jennifer said. "It was such a special moment."
The Cottinghams live in Kansas City, but Bear isn't a Chiefs fan. Thanks to his dad, he loves the Texans. Hearing this, an unexpected visitor traveled 700 plus miles to pay one of his biggest fans a visit.
During the bye-week, the Texans mascot, Toro visited the family in the hospital.
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"The girls played tic-tack-toe," Thomas recalled. "The older brother played hangman. They jokingly tried to rip apart a Chiefs flag."
Bear's treatment left him with little energy as Toro played with his siblings. It didn't matter to the mascot. Toro sat in the hospital bed with Bear to let him know his biggest cheerleader had his back.
"Even though Bear couldn't talk, or anything, his eyes said it all," Jennifer explained.
A furry friend they're forever grateful gave Bear more strength as he continues to fight for his life.
"As special as it may have been to him, he doesn't understand how special it was to our kids, and us, and just the whole family in general," Thomas said.
It was a brief visit, but one that will forever make Toro welcome in Kansas City, even if they're playing the Chiefs in the playoffs.
"Toro is a part of the family now," Thomas said.
A bull and Bear will forever be brothers as he fights to beat cancer.