CANONSBURG (KDKA) — A local teenager is unwilling to let a rare form of cancer stop him.
In fact, despite going through chemotherapy earlier in the day, he still made an important game for the Canon-McMillan High School baseball team.
The whole community seems to be rallying around Luke Blanock.
Blanock wasn’t able to pitch in Wednesday’s game, but he did cheer the team on and help some players warm up.
His battle with cancer started two years ago with some back pain.
“I just thought it was one of those things athletes get. A little bruise. A little something,” said Blanock. “It turned out to be a baseball-sized tumor.”
“It’s a very rare cancer,” said Blanock’s dad Kurt. “It’s called Ewings sarcoma. There’s about 250 cases a year in the United States.”
Doctors found eight spots in all, and after lengthy treatment, the cancer appeared to be gone.
But then at practice just before baseball season started, Luke’s dad, who’s also the pitching coach, got a call about some test results.
“He pulled me aside and told me the news, told me it was back,” said Blanock.
Blanock has remained incredibly positive. In fact, his dad says: “Whenever I’d be feeling down or my wife feeling down, rather than us comforting him, it was always him that comforted us.”
Luke has been able to pitch some this season, and his team, his school, the whole community has rallied around him, creating the hashtag #LukeStrong.
“I really appreciate the support that I get,” said Blanock. “I love it, people sending me letters helping me stay positive.”
It’s unclear how long this round of treatment will last.
The Canon-Mac team won Wednesday, securing a spot in the playoffs.
By the way, Blanock also plays basketball, but he says he doesn’t want to be a professional athlete. Instead, he wants to study finance.