‘Honorary Owl’ Ziggy Stoval-Redd dies

Fre’derick “Ziggy” Stoval-Redd, a 10-year-old cancer patient who became an honorary member of the Rice football team in 2015, died June 1.

Ziggy signed with the Owls as part of TEAM IMPACT, which pairs Division 1 athletic teams with children battling life-threatening illnesses.

Ziggy“Over his three years as an Owl, we celebrated his visits with us and positive turns in his treatments and stood strong with him in his times of need,” Rice Athletics said in a statement. “His indomitable spirit and radiant smile were a constant source of inspiration for everyone associated with Rice football, no matter if it was during his visits to practice or our visits to him during his treatments.”

Ziggy was introduced to the Owls after he moved to Houston from Mississippi to be closer to his doctors at MD Anderson Cancer Center. He had fought off acute lymphoblastic leukemia twice and was in remission.

At the 2015 news conference announcing Ziggy’s signing with the Owls, his mother, Phila Stoval, praised the football program for giving Ziggy a chance to experience things outside his “hospital life.”

“I just want to say ‘thank you’ for allowing the opportunity for him to be a part of the team and for allowing him the opportunity to live life like a regular kid,” she said.

A year later, Ziggy’s cancer returned. At the end of May, his condition worsened.

“While we always came to offer him support and encouragement, we left each encounter with our spirits lifted,” the Rice Athletics statement said. “He was a special young man and we all cherish our time together.”

Read the full Rice Athletics statement here.

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About Arie Passwaters

Arie Wilson Passwaters is a Web editor in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.