Raleigh school rallies around student battling cancer

September 13, 2013 2:46:12 PM PDT
A Raleigh high school is rallying around one of its students battling cancer.

It started with a show of support from Coby Weston's football teammates and quickly spread into a school wide effort at Athens Drive High School.

Weston was preparing to play football during his senior year when he was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin lymphoma. Since then, chemo has robbed him of his hair, but not his bright smile and positive outlook.

"When I'm in the hospital I just kind of think about going back to Athens and being with my teammates and best friends and that really keeps me going, to be honest with you," Weston said.

His classmates have been doing what they can to bolster his spirits. Members of the football team shaved their heads in a show of support, and some girls put symbolic purple streaks in their hair. Some students painted their school rock with the phrase "Coby strong."

"At football they try to preach to be tough and the football mentality, but really, Coby has been tougher than all of us, so it's helped us more than we've helped him, I think," said classmate John Politis.

The stands at Friday night's home game will be a sea of blue, all in support of Weston. Students bought blue t-shirts to wear to the game with all the proceeds going to the UNC Children's Hospital.

"He's awesome, he's handled this with such grace, we're all trying to be as supportive as we can," classmate Jennifer Eustace said.

This outpouring of support isn't lost on Weston, as he continues his fight against cancer.

"It's like honestly overwhelming. I couldn't ask for better friends. I've always had these people with me before this and they're just kind of with me through this. They're the most amazing people in the world," Weston said.

He still has more chemo to go through, but so far the treatment seems to be on track and he says he feels pretty well. While he won't make it back on the field for football this fall, he hopes to back at school playing baseball in the spring.

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