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Andrew O' Doriso pondered in the Redwood High locker room. But unlike the rest of his teammates, this kicker's mind wasn't on booting a ball or on the upcoming playoff game with Heritage High.
He was trying to figure out how he would break his news to the rest of his team - that on October 29th, he had been diagnosed with bone tissue cancer. So far, he had tried to keep his condition a secret from his teammates and acted as if he had a minor injury, but he knew he now had to tell them.
"I could not stand just sitting there watching TV'. he said. "it was awful".
Awful indeed! Andrew's cancer, Ewing Sarcoma, a rare bone and soft tissue cancer, can easily be mistaken for a bone chip or 'a giant bruise' - and that's what Andrew thought it was for a while. In fact, since last summer, Andrew, a kicker for the Giants at Redwood High School in Larkspur, CA, had been experiencing a sharp pain in his right shoulder every now and again. He shrugged it off for the longest time, until it became unbearable, following a game on October 25th.
After an x-ray revealed that there may be something more than a bruise, the doctors' decided to perform further tests. The results were not good - it was a malignant bone-cell tumor. Andrew, went through his first chemotherapy treatment on November 4th but felt good enough to get back on the field the following week.
While he told his coach about his illness, he initially felt a little apprehension telling his teammates. But he needn't have worried - While initially shocked, they are now all rallying behind him. Honoring their sick teammate, the Redwood players will don an "O'D" sticker on their helmets for the remainder of the season.
While Andrew will not be part of the football play-off games this season, he is gearing up for the biggest game of his life - one that he will not lose under any circumstances. As one his teammates aptly puts it - "He's always been known as a guy who plays all-out,.................. He never quits.
Peace, Love, and Baseball - Bennett Keane