Locust Grove Boy With Leukemia Triumphs On And Off Field
LOCUST GROVE, Oklahoma - A Green Country student got the chance make a big score in the Locust Grove high school football game Friday night. But it's what the 7-year-old boy is facing off the field that's drawing support.
Colt Rowland had the moment of a lifetime, taking a snap with the varsity squad from Oklahoma state passing leader Mason Fine. But let's back up a bit, before the intros, before playing around at the field with kids, before the hugs, before putting on the pads, before getting a game jersey. Because this strong-willed 7 year old may not have been in this position.
"My son has a reaction to chemotherapy that causes him to have seizures and when he has his seizures it's not like a normal seizure," said Tammey Rowland, mother. "He stops breathing completely. So he's been Life Flighted twice to Tulsa, in a bad way."
Rowland was diagnosed with leukemia last year. Doctors say he'll battle chemotherapy almost weekly until he's 10 year's old. But, that hasn't stopped this kid from being a kid.
"When Colt has chemo sometimes, he can't even walk, he throws up immediately. Like those days are rough. But still, he will get up and play on the floor in between throwing up in the trash can. He doesn't believe that he can't do anything, because he knows that he can," his mother said.
Colt's fight against leukemia has been costly, costs have gone over $100,000. But his fight has inspired the community. They've thrown wrestling events, started GoFundMe accounts, but no fundraiser as memorable as Friday night.
With fans supporting with shirts and the players wearing jerseys to be auctioned off with his favorite Batman decal on them. The game against Claremore Sequoyah was dubbed Colt Rowland Night. Thursday he got his jersey, Friday, in a switch, Tulsa Life Flight flew him to the game with game ball in hand. Upon arrival, Rowland made his debut. This kid, walked out with Mason Fine, one of his biggest fans, to delight of the crowd.
"You see things happen in life where, that sprained ankle isn't a big deal, that blown out knee is not that big of deal. They're all big Colt fans and they see how he battles and fights. He's the toughest kid around here," said Head Coach Matt Hennesy.
So back to the beginning of our story: Fine in shotgun, Rowland to his right, gets the handoff and Rowland scores the true definition of a game winner.
"So many people say they look up to me, well I look up to that guy. What he's going through and how he's battling just as a person. He's a great person to be around, he's being a role model for other people," said Mason Fine, Oklahoma state passing leader.
"When I watched my son out there, I was watching history. Friends and family, everybody, this is just amazing, and I'm just thankful, this whole town. Now I think he's convinced there's nothing he can't do, including make a touchdown in a high school football game," said Tammey Rowland.