Wilson, an offensive tackle for the Tulsa football team, thought he was just out of shape. He was winded during spring workouts and was disappointed that he was struggling so much at practice. What Wilson didn’t know is how his life was about to change. His offensive line coach, Herb Hand, thought something wasn’t right with his pupil so he insisted Wilson go see a doctor.
Coach Hand was right. Wilson had a softball sized tumor growing on his chest. He was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system. Wilson started a treatment plan immediately that included chemotherapy, but he never missed a beat. Wilson couldn’t participate in Tulsa’s spring football practices, but he was determined to not miss the 2008 season. One of the first questions he asked his doctors was “could he play again”. The answer was yes if his treatments went as planned.
Wilson credits his strong support system for keeping him upbeat. His teammates would help with missed school work, some even shaved their heads as a way of paying tribute to Wilson.