At IBleedCrimsonRed.com, we dislike Auburn. But we hate cancer so despite the fact that Shon Coleman will suit up in that awful, ugly orange and blue uniform this fall, the fact that he’s kicking cancer’s ass in the process inspires everyone. Including those of us who adore all things crimson.
The five star Olive Branch, MS offensive lineman signed with Auburn in 2010. Two months later, he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a form of cancer that can kill victims in as little as a few weeks after its onset.
If detected early—as was the case with Coleman—the cure rate is very high. He was treated at St. Jude Research Children's Hospital in Memphis, a facility founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas in 1962 and which leads the world in the treatment of pediatric and adolescent cancer treatment.
Coleman beat the disease and enrolled at Auburn in 2011, but doctors wouldn’t allow him to practice with the team until this spring.
“It was good to see him smile,” said head coach Gene Chizik. “He's extremely excited and I'm excited for him and his family. You talk about perseverance and commitment, he's worked extremely hard to get to this point. I'm very proud of him."
Every sports fan on the planet is proud of him, even those of us who will cheer against him when his Auburn Tigers go down in defeat at Bryant-Denny Stadium this November.