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Son of Sacramento Republic's Roro Lopez needs heart surgery. Here's how the community showed up for them.

This Sacramento soccer star received a heartfelt surprise from his teammates and community
This Sacramento soccer star received a heartfelt surprise from his teammates and community 03:15

SACRAMENTO — Sacramento Republic FC forward Rodrigo Lopez has been a fan favorite since the club's inaugural season back in 2014.

Roro has had so many highs during his time in the capital city, and now the community has shown up during one of his toughest times.

Lopez's oldest son, Roman, was diagnosed with a pediatric heart condition that requires upcoming surgery. It's every parent's worst nightmare, and for a 10-year-old who has dreams of one day following in his dad's footsteps, it's a reality that's hard to process.

"I've never been very good at showing my emotions, but I do have feelings. I do break down. I do cry myself, and I do it when I'm alone. That's the time when I let everything out," Lopez said. " And I feel like I need to be really strong for him and show him that he's going to be OK."

Roman is just as much a part of his dad's club as any coach or player on the roster. He was taking the pitch at Heart Health Park before he could even walk.

He's a fan favorite too, and when a GoFundMe was made by his dad Roro's teammates, it didn't take long for the goal to be met.

"I owe so much to Sacramento, to Sac Republic, to the community," Lopez said. "They continue to show me love in so many different ways. But this help, it just makes it so much easier to to focus on him."

Much like the indomitable city and this indomitable club, the Lopez family is indomitable too.

"We've gone through a lot, and we've always managed to get by it and get through it," Lopez said. " And this is just another big mountain to climb for us, and I feel like with the special love and the people that we have around us, it's going to make it a lot easier for us."

Roman's surgery will happen at UCLA, which has one of the best pediatric cardiology departments in the world.

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