Tackling Cancer: SSU’s Frazier ready for his first college football season
As excited as the players are to get the season rolling, one Tigers player may be looking forward to it more than the rest.
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Savannah State Tigers prepare for their first fall football season in two years. As excited as the players are to get the season rolling, one Tiger may be looking forward to it more than the rest.
Kyle Frazier has already beat his toughest opponent off the field, now he’s ready to tackle his next challenge: being a collegiate football player.
In the spring of 2021, the goal Frazier had been working toward finally came true: suiting up for the Tigers in a game.
“A myriad amount of emotions. Just walking from doing the Tiger walk to the arena to the locker room, and getting dressed and everything was like going in slow motion, Frazier said. “It was just like certain moments where I got that feeling, you know what I’m saying? Like this is about to happen.”
That game had been years in the making for Frazier.
In April of 2019, just after signing with Savannah State and before his high school graduation he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
“It was just crazy, you know? I was about to go do something I always dreamed about,” Frazier explained.
During the summer when he should have been lifting with his teammates, he was undergoing chemo.
When the Tigers were on their way to their first winning season in more than a decade, Frazier was taking radiation treatments.
He kept fighting so he could join his team in Savannah.
“That was a big part of my process, to know I had a family to come to. They text me, you know, some text me before a game, some text me because they knew I was having chemotherapy,” Frazier said.
By December 2019, he gets the news he had been waiting on: cancer free.
He joined the team and was rebuilding his strength, putting weight back on, when he was dealt yet another blow: after having his cancer diagnosis take the 2019 season from him, the COVID-19 pandemic would take away the 2020 season.
“It was very frustrating,” Frazier explained. “I was getting there, and I was having fun with the guys, you know, having that camaraderie with the guys, but just talking to my friends, family, my mom, she was just like ‘treat it as a bittersweet moment, you know, your time is going to come, you just use this time right now to get as back to 100% as possible, use this time just to get better,’ so that’s what I looked at it as.”
After playing the two spring games, Frazier hit the weight room, always bringing motivation and a smile. He never doubted his time would come.
“Never. Never had a doubt,” he said. “Never.”
After two long years, Kyle Frazier finally gets to play a season as a Savannah State Tiger.
“Going outside, sitting on the front porch, just sitting there day-dreaming. I’d dream about it for hours, and suiting up, you know, I’d see guys, like my friends call me at practice and things like that. Just seeing them shine and just day-dreaming about it, it’s kept me inspired,” he said about his wait.
Kyle said it was his mother who really got him through chemo and radiation, and he’s excited to have her in the stands this year.
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