Thanks to courageous Minnesota football player Casey O’Brien, we have back-to-back heartwarming stories in the midst of all of this heartbreak.
At the age of 13, O’Brien was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer. As his official Minnesota bio states, O’Brien “has beaten cancer four times (including bouts in high school and college)… after numerous rounds of chemotherapy and treatment to continue his career as a holder.”
Ultimately, O’Brien, whose father had worked for the university’s football department at one point, walked on at Minnesota and redshirted as a true freshman in 2017, then didn’t see the field the following season. Through six games for the Gophers this past season, that had remained the case — until Week 8. In a romp over Rutgers that kept Minnesota unbeaten at 7-0, O’Brien held for not one but two point-after attempts, including one in which he looked like a veteran of dozens of games in flawlessly handling a bad snap.
In late November, however, O’Brien took to Twitter to reveal that “[e]arlier today I had my three-month scans and the doctors found a small spot in one of my lungs.”
“They are not sure what it is, but they want to remove it this week so they can test it,” the redshirt sophomore wrote, adding, “I am looking forward to returning to the field soon.”
Now, fast-forward a little over five months. On Twitter Friday, O’Brien revealed that he has kicked cancer’s ass. Again. And is now a five-time survivor of the insidious disease.
“God has taken care of me again!” O’Brien wrote, while also thanking his “HERO doctors and nurses.”
Added the Minnesota football player, “Can’t wait to go play football again.”
LAST DAY OF CHEMO! 5x Survivor…..God has taken care of me again! Surrounded by all my HERO doctors and nurses. Thankful to be treated at the best hospital in the country @UMNChildrens. Can’t wait to go play football. 💪🏻✝️🎗#5x #RTB @GopherFootball pic.twitter.com/uZpvLb2mNr
— Casey O'Brien (@caseyob14) May 8, 2020
God bless Casey O’Brien. And God bless all of our healthcare workers.