FARRAGUT, Tenn. (WATE) — A community in Farragut comes together to encourage and support a teenager who is battling brain tumors that are sometimes considered ‘unresectable.’
AJ Cucksey He has loved football from a young age. At age four, when she was diagnosed inoperable brain tumorshis love for the sport grew more.
Soon, he wanted a chance to get past the sidelines and onto the field. AJ wanted to play soccer.
“Last year was the first year AJ decided he wanted to play football,” said Robbie Jacobs, Farragut Middle School mac league commissioner and seventh-grade coach. “When we first got the call, it was me and another commissioner last year and we were like, there’s no way this kid can play football. He had multiple brain tumors, he had the shunt behind his ear, we didn’t know how that would work with a helmet.”
“At the time, we didn’t have medical clearance, and we thought it was going to be very difficult, so we’re thinking how we’re going to tell this kid that he can’t play, we don’t. he wants to take the dream away from him.
Like any challenge put up by the opposing team, AJ tackled them and like 6the leveler, he is now a captain and plays for the Farragut JV 7the grade team.
“We actually put him in a comfortable position, we explained everything to his teammates, and from day one, a strong kid, with positive energy, really destined to be a football player,” Jacobs said.
His place on the field is one he earned, and now he works to maintain his position. She is also working to continue winning her battle against her inoperable brain tumors after his oncologist recently discovered that two of the tumors had grown.
His teammates and community are by his side and supportive of his love of football as his family is unsure how many more games he will be able to play before starting treatment.
“Thinking about AJ and what he’s like on the field, and the way he’s as a teammate, it really excites you as a coach,” Jacobs said. “Again, we’re not here to take anything away from you and I think that’s what we need to remember. It’s an extremely emotional day, but we went out there, we fought and we got a win for AJ today.”
Win or lose, AJ will never give up on or off the field. His coach described him as a positive influence and it’s a trait the team has learned through him. Now they’re using that same positivity to cheer AJ on.
“I think today is very special for him more than anything because he can run the game that he never thought he could play. I’m happy for him,” Jacobs said.
Follow AJ’s journey on the Prayers for AJ Cucksey Facebook page.
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