Player Diagnosed with Cancer after Concussion - Dallas News |

Player Diagnosed with Cancer after Concussion


An Arlington football player is back in class after undergoing treatment for a rare form of cancer.

Three weeks ago Ethan Tepera was diagnosed with chronic mylogenius leukemia. He had suffered a concussion in a football game and the pain never went away.

“They just said we’ve got some information and we think your son has leukemia. His white blood count is at 350,000,” said Melissa Tepera, Ethan’s mother. “There was a point there in the ICU that we thought we were going to lose him.”

Since then there have been a lot of hospital visits, medications and pain, and Ethan’s only begun to fight the disease.

“You know as a parent you can’t comfort him. You’ve got to put it all in God’s hands, the doctor’s hands right there in front of you. You just, you’re helpless,” said James Tepera, Ethan’s father.

But the 13-year-old has found a saving grace in his classmates at Grace Preparatory Academy. From the moment they learned about his diagnosis he’s received an outpouring of support.

“In our football games we wore No. 4 on our helmet and wore a bunch of orange stuff because that’s the color of the ribbon and we decided we could start a prayer meeting every day at school. And so we’ve gathered outside on the playground,” said Jay Sedwick, Ethan’s friend.

“It was really moving to see our whole seventh grade class together out there huddled up in circles and just praying,” said Dale Meinecke, Grace Prep’s dean of students.

Another friend had the idea of making t-shirts with Team Tepera on front and Ethan’s favorite Bible verse on the back.

“It makes me feel amazing that I have great friends and everybody that cares about me so much,” Ethan said.

The Teperas said this Thanksgiving will have a much deeper meaning for them. Ethan’s prognosis is very positive and doctors expect he will recover with only a mild form of chemo therapy in a pill.

“It’s this overwhelming sense of gratefulness because he’s sitting right here with us. Praise God,” Melissa Tepera said.

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