It was a great sight inside Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday as Northridge freshman Sam Grewe walked the sidelines, looking just like any other healthy teenager.
There he was--big smile and a full head of hair.
"It feels really good to not be sick and weak anymore," the 15-year-old from Middlebury explained on Countdown to Kickoff. "I can get back into sports, get back into running, more of the usual routine. I don’t have to spend half a week in the hospital anymore, I can do whatever I want."
If you don't know Sam's story. It's an incredible one of overcoming the worst.
One year ago, Grewe paced the sidelines with an ND hat on his head, covering up the fact that he was bald--due to Chemo. He also has a prosthetic leg due to cancer developing in his knee. Sam had to have surgery to move a portion of his leg two years ago when he was just 13.
For an accomplished athlete, who was the leading scorer on his middle school basketball team--losing his leg was a devastating blow.
But all of that--is news of the past.
Last week, Sam found out he was six months cancer free.
And despite having a prosthetic leg, Sam's ready to resume what he loves--sports. He'll play freshman basketball for Northridge this winter. He may also try lacrosse and may even look to play football again next fall.
I asked Sam if his leg could pop off he gets tackled playing football.
"Probably but it would probably hurt the other guy more," Sam said with a laugh.
It's fun to see the positive sides now.
"It’s a whole lot of training, lifting, going to practice," Sam says of getting back into basketball form. "I’m a natural athlete I guess, not to be cocky, just do whatever I can to get better, stronger."
The natural athlete is stronger off the athletic fields and courts then he will ever let on. To overcome everything that he has, is truly remarkable. And every step of the way, he's had the Notre Dame football team supporting him. The Irish players adopted Sam last fall when he was battling osteosarcoma. He got to attend the Irish games, be in the locker room with the team and even to go to Miami with them for the national championship game.
The Irish continue to support Sam now---dedicating their chapter of Uplifting Athletes to fighting the cancer that Sam beat. He can't thank them enough for their support.
"When I was spending a week in the hospital, there’s not a lot to look forward to during the week," Sam explains. "If I can say I’m going to go to the game, be on the field, be with the Notre Dame football team, it’s a whole lot to look forward to when I’m all sick."
Now he gets to go to the game, be on the field, be with the Notre Dame football team and do it all---while being healthy.
There's nothing cooler than that.