KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A 5-year-old Knoxville boy whose battle with inoperable brain tumors earned him the support of the UT Vols football team is taking on a new role.

A.J. Cucksey has been named Tennessee’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion. In a tour visiting Washington D.C. and Orlando, Florida, A.J. and his family will serve as advocates for East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and encourage the public to donate to facilties like it across the nation.

A.J. said he has a special message to share on the upcoming trip.

“That Children’s Hospital helped me a lot,” he said. “They gave me medicine that made me not as sick.”

A.J. was diagnosed with pilocyctic astrocytoma, a nonmalignant pediatric brain tumor. The boy has seven of the tumors, which are inoperable because of their locations, which required a year of chemotherapy. The hospital says A.J. had his final chemotherapy treatment in December and continues follow-up care with Children’s Hospital specialists. A.J. says he has some big summer plans, hoping to get into ice hockey.Previous stories: