The strength and athleticism it takes to play football on any level are enviable to many of us. Imagine having that skill and athleticism and also having cancer while playing the whole season, and not even knowing it. At St. Mary's High School in Martensdale in central Iowa, one player did just that.

The high school player's name is Brooks Trom. He's 18 and while rushing up and down the field during the season, he knew something was wrong but wasn't sure exactly what until later.

Brooks says he started out with a sore throat and then tested positive for mono. Doctors discovered low blood levels. They then diagnosed him with leukemia.

Brooks has been playing with many of his teammates since second grade and says they and the coach are helping him stay positive, as they say he has done for them as their "comedy relief" over the years. In fact, he's a three-sport athlete at St. Mary's who will have to miss a lot of action during basketball season while in treatment.

Many of the folks in town, in a show of support, gathered in front of Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines to greet Brooks to wave at him, and his teammates took turns shaving his head. He's an obviously very well-loved young man who is now stuck in the hospital for the immediate future due to an infection on top of the unfathomable challenges of cancer.

If you'd like to learn more about his story, visit KCCI, and if you'd like to help, check out the GoFundMe page set up by his family. We wish hope and strength to Brooks and his family and friends in the town of Martensdale this Christmas season.

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