EUGENE, Ore. -- Marist Catholic football began its season two weeks ago.
But the season of change for senior kicker Ty DePaoli began in July.
“There was a lump," DePaoli said. "So, we go into lance it and take care of it. I wake up from surgery and get told I have cancer.”
DePaoli was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma. According to the American Cancer Society, of all teens ages 15 to 19 afflicted with cancer, only two percent have this rare disease.
“It was mix of 'ok' and not fully understanding,” DePaoli said.
DePaoli began chemotherapy at Doernbecher Hospital the following week.
“Every other week I’m stuck in a hospital," DePaoli said.
Even though he couldn’t be on the field, DePaoli wanted to help his team, just not from a hospital bed.
“The best way for me to get over it was become a coach," DePaoli said.
When DePaoli isn't receiving treatment he is at practice, helping the other Marist kickers.
"Anytime you have a dinged-up shoulder you look over at Ty or your ankle might be less than 100 percent you look over at Ty," Marist head coach Frank Geske said.
DePaoli's goal is to play on Marist's senior night scheduled for October 22.
“Everyone on the team at some point has told me to go take a break or something," DePaoli said. "I just don’t like it.”
Now, DePaoli is trying to kick something other than a football while inspiring others in the process.
“If someone can see this and see what I’m doing and I’m still on the field with my teammates, I’m still on the field tomorrow, then they cannot look at the next year of their lives of the unknown and terrified of what they have to do," DePaoli said.