For most high school athletes, sports are basically their lives, but Mercer County senior soccer player Drew Angel knows there are much more important things than whether his team wins or loses.
Angel’s mindset on life changed when he was just 8-years-old, when he was diagnosed with stage-3 Burkitt’s Lymphoma, a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that most often occurs in young people and is most often found in the abdomen area.
“It really makes you grateful to have your health,” said Angel, who started playing soccer when he was 5-years-old. “You know, it makes you not take life for granted.”
After returning home from a soccer practice, Angel began feeling ill.
“I had gone to a soccer practice and I started feeling bad when I got home. I stayed up all night sick,” said Angel. “I went to the doctor and they said I had appendicitis, so I had my appendix removed.”
It wasn’t long before Angel was informed things were much worse.
Angel said a pathologist, Dr. Jill Ransdell—who just happend to be the mother of his teammate, Sawyer Ransdell—found the cancer after examining his appendix sample.
After three months of chemotherapy Angel was cancer free, but he still had something else big weighing on his mind: he wanted to get back on the soccer field.
With a lot of determination and inspiration from his older brother, Mason, he was able to get back on the field less than a year later.
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