Kent Roosevelt High School senior Ryan Anderson has courage and composure beyond his years. A competitive and determined mindset made him an honors student, excellent shot-put and disc thrower as well as star football player sought after by many Division I colleges.
His football dreams were sidelined last spring when doctors gave the worst possible diagnosis for the cause of the lineman’s knee pain – cancer.
Now more than ever, Ryan and those around him are relying on his ingrained positive disposition to get through osteogenic sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer that affects only 400 children in the United States each year.
In addition to undergoing several rounds of chemotherapy, six inches of Ryan’s femur were removed and replaced by a rod.
Dr. Stephanie Savelli and the rest of the team in the Akron Children’s Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders are doing all they can to help Ryan beat cancer and go to college next year. He plans to study business at Bowling Green State University.
As one of 12 finalists in a national contest called The High School Football Rudy Awards, Ryan is already guaranteed to win an academic scholarship based on his inspirational actions to overcome obstacles.
In addition to fan votes, a national selection committee comprising current and former NFL players and other prestigious people will determine the amount of each finalist’s scholarship, ranging from $1,000 to $7,500.
According to the contest website, the Rudy Awards celebrate outstanding young athletes, not because of their statistical performance, but because of their ability to inspire teammates, classmates, families and communities.
It honors players who demonstrate the exemplary values of football legend Daniel ‘Rudy’ Ruettiger, the inspirational figure of the classic football film, Rudy.