Raleigh, N.C. — The home game Friday night at Athens Drive High School in Raleigh took on special meaning for the school and one of its student athletes.
Seventeen-year-old Coby Weston can't play football this season because he recently started cancer treatment for Hodgkins Lymphoma. He was diagnosed after coughing incessantly and feeling fatigued during training camp. But the senior says the volume of love and support from his school is a source of strength for him.
After Weston lost his hair to cancer treatments, his teammates and friends decided to shave their heads, too. Even assistant coach Chris Martin shaved his head.
“It’s, like, overwhelming and how blessed I am with all my friends, because they’re doing this without anyone asking them to,” Weston said.
“Everything that he’s gone through, it’s the least I could do – lose a little bit of hair,” said classmate David Parker, 17.
Teammate Michael Parente said, “For what he’s going through, I feel I should support him. He’s going through a lot right now.”
“Coby loves his hair,” said Sarah Hume, 17.
She should know. Hume’s been friends with Weston since the first grade.
On Friday, students were sporting a cobalt blue T-shirt with the words, “We believe, we fight, we win, we’re Coby strong.”
Weston says being with his friends and teammates is his reward after going through cancer treatments. He’s optimistic about his prognosis and plans to be ready to go for baseball season next spring.
“You can be as close as you can to normal until you’re done, and you can get back to playing sports and stuff like that,” he said.