ST. FRANICS, Minn. - The Tackle Cancer program in September is a huge success with over 130 high school football teams state-wide taking part.
On Friday night, there are 35 Tackle Cancer games on the prep football schedule, and every team hosting a game has a personal reason why. In St Francis, that reason is Lucas Huss.
Ever since he was young, Huss dreamed of Friday night lights. The starting cornerback for St. Francis isn't a big guy.
But what he lacks in size at 5-foot-6 and 130 pounds, he makes up for with tremendous heart.
"We want to coach those kids who just are tough and he epitomizes the word," said head coach Chris Lindquist.
Tough doesn't begin to describe what Lucas has been through. At 10 years old, his life changed forever.
"Well, he had a lump on his throat and he said 'I have a lump right here and it hurts when I touch it,'" said his mom Stephanie Smith.
After originally being told it wasn't cancer, Lucas was later diagnosed with thyroid cancer and underwent three separate surgeries.
"In December of 2005, he had his third surgery where they removed the rest of his thyroid and 21 lymph nodes," Smith said. "19 were positive."
Lucas underwent radiation and is now cancer free.
But that doesn't necessarily mean peace of mind.
You see, there's a higher risk of recurrence with thyroid cancer and that possibility is on his mind all the time.
"The lump I have right now, it concerns me," Lucas said. "I tell my mom right away if I find something different. Yeah it scares me but I try not to think it's going to be anything bad."
And that's why Tackle Cancer is so important to St Francis High School.
"When you really start looking at it, its people. It's not just a word," Lindquist said. "It's families. It's not just a random act. It's personal and it's affected us in a personal way."
Lucas will have surgery next week to remove that lump on his arm. The doctors are not sure if it is cancerous.
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