Teen fighting cancer surprised by Suns gorilla, dancers, friends on eve of surgery


by Ryan O'Donnell

Bio | Email | Follow: @3TVODonnell


Posted on June 2, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Updated Monday, Jun 2 at 1:18 PM

PHOENIX -- At only 16 years old, Cody Hatch is battling a rare form of cancer called metastatic paraganglioma. He has a series of tumors that have a tight grip on his spine.

"I'm hoping it'll recover faster and I haven't been too worried, I'm just trying to be optimistic about it," Cody said Monday, just a day before undergoing surgery.

Cody is a strong teen and an active teen who loves to play basketball.

"The Phoenix Suns are my favorite team," he said.

Cody will start a series of surgeries Tuesday morning and while doing an interview live during "Good Morning Arizona" Monday, he got quite the surprise.

All of a sudden confetti was flying and there was a lot of screaming and clapping. It was the Suns Gorilla, two of their dancers and several classmates wearing blue shirts that read "Pray for Cody."

They all showed up just to support the teen.

"It's overwhelming," Cody’s mom, Crista Hatch said. "The Suns have been amazing and just having them come, it's just nice, nice to have some good memories come out of this."

"I'm just stoked, really happy. I don't know what to say. I'm just so excited,” Cody said.

To learn more about Cody's fight against this rare form of cancer or to help out with medical expenses, go to http://codyhatch.org.