In April 2019, Kyle, a 17-year-old football star at Glenn Hills High School in Hephzibah, Georgia, noticed a large lump on his throat while taking a shower. After a trip to the hospital and several tests, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma and began intense treatment right away.
Kyle’s six-month treatment regimen included chemotherapy, radiation, and countless days spent at the hospital away from his family, friends and the football field. He experienced unbearable side effects such as painful ulcers, chronic fatigue and neuropathy, but he never gave up hope and kept his head up high with a smile on his face. “Cancer blindsided me like a hard hit playing football, but I refused to let cancer win,” says Kyle.
Despite the challenges, Kyle graduated high school with flying colors and accomplished his goal of receiving a football scholarship. Today, he is a cancer survivor, having rung his cancer-free bell four months after his diagnosis. During the pandemic, Kyle has been preparing for his first season of college football at Savannah State University. Determined to stay active and feel his best, he has been inventing creative at-home workouts while quarantining.
Kyle credits The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) for supporting him throughout his journey. He joined LLS Community, our online social network for blood cancer patients, survivors and caregivers to share their experiences, stay informed, and get personalized support from trained LLS staff. Through LLS Community, Kyle shares his courageous survivorship story in hopes of inspiring others. He also volunteers with LLS in Georgia and continues to raise awareness about the urgent need for blood cancer cures and access to care.
“My experiences are full of pain and glory,” says Kyle. “But my life is a gift and I just want to be great because I got a second chance.”