Ethan Mayberry is a member of the Crossings Christian football team, he just can’t compete for it during his senior season. There’s a good reason for that, and it has nothing to do with anything he did wrong; rather, Mayberry is fighting cancer, his second battle with Non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
As reported by The Oklahoman, Mayberry’s discovery that his Non-Hodgkins lymphoma had returned came during the offseason, not long after he had returned from his first battle with lymphoma. The experience has left the Crossings Christian squad feeling bruised, but also determined to achieve as much as possible in honor of their teammate in the stands.
“It just feels like it’s something else to overcome,” Crossings Christian coach Chris Roberts told The Oklahoman. “It’s just been something else that our kids have had to overcome and it’s difficult to see one of your buddies go through that. You want to fight with him on Fridays, but you see he’s fighting for his life.”
The battle that the senior is set to face this time is a daunting one: Mayberry will undergo four different rounds of chemotheraphy before having a bone marrow transfusion which will replace diseased bone marrow with a stem cell transplant, designed to minimize the chance for the Non-Hodgkins to return.
Mayberry was slated as Crossings Christian’s starting nose tackle for the 2015 season, even though he is longer the 240-pound bruiser that he was before he underwent his first lymphoma treatment. The team has placed stickers with Mayberry’s No. 74 on the back of their helmets to remind them that he is with them every step of the 2015 season, even as he watches on from the stands. As for the teen himself, Mayberry recognizes that he has a long battle ahead but is steeled for whatever may come, particularly having been through it once before.
“It’s been a pretty upsetting experience because I missed last year,” Mayberry said. “I was ready to come back this year, but I’m getting through it.
“It wasn’t as hard as the first time. I thought it would be harder, but it really wasn’t. Once you get through the initial first two days talking to people it wasn’t as bad.”