HOBART | Hobart High School’s football team really shows their love and commitment to their fellow teammate Joey Sparks.
Joey is a sophomore at Hobart High and he has recently been diagnosed with Lymphoma cancer. The mass is in his throat and face; luckily the cancer has not spread anywhere else. As long as chemotherapy does it’s job; it will melt away the mass and the cancer should be gone when he finishes his treatments.
” I don’t fully understand lymphoma," said Joey Sparks, "I am just happy and thankful that I will be okay as long as treatments go well”.
Joey was a wide receiver and a defensive back on Hobart’s JV football team; he dresses on Friday nights as number 37. He not only supported his team on the field, but he is now supporting his team from home. ” We can’t wait to have him back with us, we know he is itching to get back with his team” says Coach Turley.
” I missed my team just as much as I did my family when I was in the hospital, and I can’t wait to see them soon,” Joey says.
Hobart football has really been there for Joey. When I was interviewing him he told me to thank his team for everything they’ve done, including; the visits at the hospital, a signed ball by all his teammates , stickers on the helmets with his number on it , and most importantly walking for him in the Phi Beta Psi cancer walk.
” It meant the world to me to see all the pictures of the walk,” Joey stated.
Even though a tragic event like this has happened to Joey; he still shows his dedication to not only his team but to his school work. ” I never realized how much I loved school until now, I haven’t been to school in a month and I really miss it.” Even though Joey is now home bound he still going to strive for the best grades possible.
Joey’s perspectives on life have changed. He stated, ” Coach Turley once said that you never think it will happen to you until it does, and I completely understand that now, its made me think how we take the little things for granted”.
During the interview Joey told me how he missed his little brother the most even though he wants to throw him out the window usually; we laughed and then he told me, ” Seriously, we take little things such as seeing our siblings every day for granted , and it made me realize how much you really care for people”.
Joeys inspirations are his grandpa who battled and won against cancer, his aunt who is his best friend in the world and who has been by his side since he started this battle , and last but not least Coach Turley and the entire Hobart Brickie football team.
He wants to thank every one who called , texted , tweeted , messaged , posted , and wished him the best.
” I couldn’t do this without all of the support , I will be strong, I love my school and my city!”
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