Life by Daily Burn

Meet the Inspiring H.S. Football Player Battling Leukemia

Inspiration comes in all kinds of unlikely forms: a septuagenarian CrossFitter, the denial of health insurance, that 10,000th burpee. But perhaps the most unlikely — and yet totally inspiring — person we’ve come across is 15-year-old Kane Hogan, an Alabama high schooler with a devastating case of leukemia.

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As first reported by Sports Illustrated as a part of their High School Athlete of the Month series, Hogan was a freshman football player; and then, just months later, was too weak to do a squat. Soon after, he was diagnosed with leukemia.

His grandfather, Billy Parker, told SI that everything happened fast. “We were deer hunting one weekend and next weekend he was rushed to St. Jude,” he said.

But what makes Kane such a special kid is that he isn’t letting himself wallow in his own sorrows. Instead, he’s become an inspiration (and unofficial captain) to the Danville High School football team, participating in practices and games, if even from the sidelines. And it has an effect on the team, too: “You can see it every time he walks into the locker room,” said the team’s coach, Josh LouAllen. “There’s a sense of energy that comes over this team when he shows up.”

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What’s also amazing, though, is that his off-the-field efforts in supporting the team (at times until he was too weak to stand any longer) have been paying off: Danville kicked off the current season 3-0 after winning only two games total last year.

So we’re asking you to take a step back from your day and spend the next few minutes learning more about Kane Hogan in the video below. His wise-beyond-his-years perspective will leave you feeling hopeful about your community, your life and those around you. Because the power of just one person — in this case, a 15-year-old — could motivate you every day.

Kane Hogan: SI’s High School Athlete of the Month