Minor set back, major comeback: Salina Central's Greg Gibson

Posted: Updated:

A sophomore at Salina Central high school was starring at linebacker last fall. A breakout season, a force on the Mustang defense but last spring things quickly changed.

"No. No part of me ever thought it was going to be cancer," Central head coach Michael Hall said.

"Heart broken. I mean Greg is like a brother to me. We've been best friends for a long time, so when I heard it, I was just devastated and he kind of picked me up. He told me to stop crying, so he's a tough guy," junior cornerback Jere Thomas added.

Greg Gibson felt pain in his leg while squatting. He then decided to go to the doctor. He was later diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer.

"Treatments. Chemotherapy has been a rough one. All the treatment that I have to get, it gets me down. Weeks are terrible. Some weeks are way worse," Gibson said.

The 16-year-old has had it rough these last several months. Eight treatments, a surgery to remove bone from his leg, but never along the way has he left his Mustang football team.

"With him fighting kind of gives us hope because even though he was sick he still showed up to practice everyday and that just gives me the drive to keep pushing harder and harder because nothing is impossible, everything is possible," Thomas added.

Gibson is there at every practice he can be and at every game. Last week when Central hosted Derby his classmates decided to honor him as his fight continues.

"It was a real up-lifter. To know that this many people care and the community around me has my back through this," Gibson continued.

The community has his back, the team has his back and his smile on the sideline is something Central clings to.

"You know I guess you could say that God's only going to give it to people that can handle it and Greg can because he's very mature for his age and his thought processes and has handled it better than I could ever have imagined out of anybody," Hall said.

Nine treatments are left for Gibson. That puts him on track for his last one this February. It also means next fall in Salina look out for a senior at Central starring once again at linebacker.

"Next year if everything goes as planned I should be back out here to play. I should be able to go through all the summer workouts and everything and be back relatively quick," Gibson concluded.

He will have his ninth treatment next week. If you would like to help with his medical expenses, you can visit his GoFundMe page here