Milford elite athlete determined to overcome life-threatening disease
Milford's Tyler Tortora says a series of setbacks will not stop him from achieving his dream of playing professional football someday.
Tortora won two football state championships with Saint Joseph High School in Trumbull.
The running back is considered one of the fastest high school players in the country.
But the elite athlete is trying to overcome a severe case of ulcerative colitis.
"Fought it, fought it, fought it," says Tortora. "They gave me every medication in triple doses nothing was working."
Tortora had to have his intestines removed and is now headed for a sixth surgery at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
When he was 12 years old he lost his mother to brain cancer.
Now, the 18-year-old is trying to push past all his obstacles and become better than before.
"Now that I'm older I realize wow I was really something, I could still become that and be greater than that too," said Tortora.
There is a GoFundMe for Tortora to help pay for his college tuition.
He has an opportunity to make the Florida Atlantic University football team as a walk on.
Doctors say Tortora's prognosis is good once he has his next surgery this summer.