Mason Ogle battled through his nagging knee pain.
He wanted to finish his soccer tournament.
Despite hobbling around the field, Ogle managed to blast the tournament’s winning goal through the net.
But the Underwood, Iowa, teen didn’t know that the tournament would be his last.
His knee pain was probably sports-related, thought mom Jaclyn Ogle. She took him to the doctor three days later. That’s when he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, the most common type of bone cancer among children, according to Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s. About 600 new cases of osteosarcoma are diagnosed annually in the U.S.
After his diagnosis in November 2017, Ogle underwent chemotherapy treatments. Doctors removed several of the bones in his left knee and leg and replaced them with artificial parts. Because of that, he can no longer play contact sports.
Learning that he wouldn’t be able to play soccer anymore was hard to accept, Ogle said.
He’s played the sport since he was a toddler. When he isn’t playing, Ogle is watching games on television. He’s a die-hard Sporting Kansas City fan and has made it to several of the team’s games.
“I love a good game and just watching the outcome,” Ogle said.
About a year after his diagnosis, in September, Ogle appeared to be cancer free. But a few weeks before Christmas, doctors found that the osteosarcoma returned in the 14-year-old’s lungs.
Last week, Ogle had surgery to remove it.
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To boost his spirits post-surgery, the Creighton University men’s soccer teamon Tuesday paid a surprise visit to Ogle.
“It meant a lot to me because it shows that there’s more people than my friends and family who are supporting me,” Ogle said.
Ogle was all smiles during the visit, his mom said. He met with the players and learned where they were from. They talked all things soccer, which led to sharing tips and tricks for playing the video game “FIFA.”
[Read more: Huskers give wrestling captain title to teen who lost part of leg to cancer; ‘He needs that more than anything right now’]
The team left him with a signed soccer ball and a Creighton scarf. They’re hoping to get Ogle out to a game when the weather is a little warmer.
Bryce Gibson, a senior on the team, said the visit was good for Ogle and for the players.
“Sometimes it can be easy to take for granted everything you’re afforded and all the support we get,” Gibson said. “It’s essential to give back where we can, especially to people who are in need, like Mason.”
Mom said they’re hoping doctors were able to remove all of the cancer, but Ogle will still have to undergo intense chemotherapy.
Seeing her son’s reaction during the visit meant a lot, especially given all the bad news he’s had to tackle, Jaclyn Ogle said.
“Anything that gets him to smile is super important and just means everything to us right now,” she said.
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