DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Orange balloons and banners are all over town in honor of Springboro High School offensive lineman Mac Reese.
The 17-year-old is in great spirits after finishing his first round of chemo. With his football jersey back on, Mac Reese said he’s ready to tackle cancer head on.
“Football taught me how to deal with adversity and this is the biggest adversity I’ve ever had to face in my life,” Reese said.
After two weeks of being sick and several doctor visits, the Springboro High School senior was diagnosed with leukemia earlier this month.
“The doctor telling me I had Leukemia was pretty surreal. The first thing I though was football, cause it was my senior year,” Reese said.
“It’s a mother’s worst nightmare. It’s devastating. It’s crushing. All kinds of scenarios and scenes flash before your eyes and you don’t really have time to grasp it and you have to help your son process it as well and it’s very very difficult,” his mother Colleen said.
Not one for getting knocked down or sacked, the offensive lineman found inspiration from another football player who went through the same journey. James Conner was a running back at the University of Pittsburgh when he was diagnosed.
“He faced time me and he told me it’s totally a mental battle and it’s not physical at all. And I really took that to heart, because it really is. It’s just a mental battle. You got to be mentally strong to push through and you can’t dwell on anything, because if you dwell on anything then you’re just going to waste away,” Reese said.
Mac’s classmates and community are making sure he doesn’t fight alone. From hospital visits, orange covered streets, to monetary donations. Mac said the overwhelming support keeps him motivated to get on the field.
“I’m really excited to get back to them,” Reese said.
His mother expressed the same sentiments, “Our goals and our life has changed, so our goals in our life is what is in front of us right now, today. We have a goal of getting back on the field for senior night.”
Springboro High School senior night is October 14. A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help pay for Mac’s medical bills.