East Hamilton’s Judson Kilpatrick Back on the Gridiron After Beating Cancer

Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) Instead of breaking a sweat in soccer practice, East Hamilton sophomore Judson Kilpatrick spent his spring at the Children’s Hospital in Erlanger battling leukemia. What was a standard annual checkup with the doctor turned into chemotherapy appointments. Now Judson is stronger than ever – scoring touchdowns for the Hurricanes.

Head coach Grant Reynolds said: “It’s God’s thing that God helped him through that. We could sit back and witness the miracle.”

In January, East Hamilton, who drove back Judson Kilpatrick’s life, was put on hiatus after being diagnosed with leukemia.

Said Kilpatrick: “It’s pretty scary. It’s just out of nowhere, out of nowhere, you don’t expect something like that to happen… It cost me my life, I think. I fought for four and a half, five months to get out and just be a kid, and it was a long fight.”

Said safety Jackson Chaote: “Every day after practice we always said a prayer for Judson. We would always make sure to text Judson and keep up with him, to make sure he was okay. We even went to the hospital to play board games with him.”

In July, a bell rang from Third Street. Kilpatrick was free of cancer. Two months later, he scored his first touchdown for the Canes.

Said Chaote: “We were all going crazy. We were so happy for him, not only because we were winning, but also because he was actually back in action.”

Said Reynolds: “They were very excited. I thought we were going to get a penalty because everyone ran onto the pitch and hugged him, but you know what, and then what? He needed it and we needed it.”

Said Chaote, “He’s got a crazy work ethic. To go through that and then go back out on the football field and get into the weight room and come back to it, it’s crazy. I love watching it. ”

Reynolds said, “What Judson went through and endured all that is just really good proof to all of us that we’ve fought and endured adversity and that he’s endured it.”

Chaote said: “Not only does he inspire this team, but I think he inspires everyone in the world because he beat one of the hardest things and now he’s here.”

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