Broken Arrow senior beats cancer to return to soccer team

Posted at 6:42 PM, May 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-07 22:07:53-04

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — In May 2020, Eric Chavez was diagnosed with cancer. In spring 2021, he won his battle in time to return to the Broken Arrow soccer team for his senior season.

Eric Chavez has been playing soccer since he was four years old. He always loved playing forward and scoring goals; so much so that one year for Christmas he asked for a pair of goalie gloves for his dad to wear in the backyard.

Eric was playing club soccer as the summer of 2020 approached when he began to develop a pain in his upper body. When the family went to the doctor to have it diagnosed, they received the worst news imaginable: it was cancer.

Over the next 10 months Eric went through multiple surgeries and treatments. When he could gather enough strength, he would go to the soccer field to practice and even attend school. His teammates didn't know anything about his condition until their coaches called a meeting and broke the news.

On March 22, Eric had beaten cancer and made his return to the team. He made his first start since returning on April 15 against Booker T. Washington. A week later, Broken Arrow won their district, and began a run into the playoffs.

Eric's story is inspiring to both his family and his teammates. His father Jorge says when he is on the field, Eric gives 100% of his energy, even though it's not as much as it used to be. Team captain Luke Ferguson looks to Eric for inspiration, seeing how nothing can keep him off the pitch. When he laces up, he does so to give it everything he has.

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