Playing football and fighting cancer

Freshman Lucas Gidelski fights T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma.


Gidelski playing football with his team. (Courtesy of Lucas Gidelski)

By Luma Acevedo

Funny, outgoing, athletic, talented. Those are only some of the words that friends and family use to describe freshman football player Lucas Gidelski.

Gidelski was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma, otherwise known as T-LBL. T-LBL is a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in which too many white blood cells are found in either the lymph nodes or spleen.

Gidelski is currently undergoing treatment for T-LBL.

“[Lucas] has been [on steroids] for the last 30 days, and chemo. Then, he’ll have chemo treatments going forward probably for eight to nine months,” said Kandice Gidelski, Lucas’ mom.

This experience has definitely taken a toll on Gidelski. He can not do most things on his own, having to constantly rely on his family for help.

“He’s lost a lot of confidence because he is unable to do almost anything on his own. He has to depend on other people to do everything for him,” Gidelski’s mom said.

To be unable to be yourself would upset anyone, especially a teenage boy. Before his diagnosis, Gidelski loved to play sports, hang out outside, and go to the gym with friends. Now he is hesitant to see his friends because he does not want to keep them from having fun.

“He just told us the other day that he was sad because he couldn’t go outside and play basketball with his friend that was over,” Gidelski’s mom said.

Lucas was a big part of the freshman football team at HHS. He was never without a smile while playing football.

“We had a meeting,” said Will Laughlin, Gidelski’s friend and teammate.

“We got pulled out of class. He told us he [has] cancer. Our coach started to cry,” said Nathan Holbert, Gidelski’s best friend.

Since his diagnosis, Gidelski is not his usual, energetic self. He was on steroids which made him extremely weak. Because of this, he is unable to walk.

“He still has his wit and his humor, but you know he’s got a lot of emotions and anxiety right now,” Gidelski’s mom said.

There has been a GoFundMe made for Lucas and his family. Gidelski’s friends and teammates are taking charge of this fundraiser.

“There were some people who made bracelets for him and sold them,” Laughlin said.

The community has come together to support the Gidelski family.

“It was great. [Lucas] saw that everyone was there for him,” Holbert said.

According to Lucas’ mom, the support has been both overwhelming and amazing.