Austin was preparing for his senior season as an offensive lineman for the Oklahoma Sooners when he noticed an unexplained constant sore throat during spring ball. Then the glands in his neck became swollen and sore. He went to the team trainer to get it looked at, and following a series of screens and tests Austin was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Less than two weeks after spring practice ended, Austin started his treatment protocol of 12 rounds of chemotherapy.
Facing that strong of a chemotherapy regimen spread out over six months, Austin figured he would have to put football on the back burner and take a redshirt season. Halfway through his treatment protocol he knew the chemo was impacting him, but he didn’t feel football was off the table. He wanted to play this season.
While that sounds impossible, consider this: somehow, through all the chemotherapy, Austin never lost his hair and actually gained weight. During the season, he scheduled his chemo treatments on Monday, giving his body time to recover by Saturday. He never missed a game and only missed practice on treatment days. His journey truly inspired others.