Young basketball star battling cancer

May 20, 2009 4:20:20 PM PDT
Just a few months ago he was rejoicing in his team's state championship.

Today he is hospitalized, battling a tougher opponent.

18-year-old Will Adams has spent the last three weeks at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, being treated for Hodgkins disease, a cancer of the lymphatic system.

A recent graduate of Imhotep Charter School in Germantown, the star basketball player was feeling sick throughout the season.

"I started losing weight and at nighttime I started getting night sweats," said Will. "I started shaking."

The 6' 4 " teen lost 26 pounds but says he didn't tell anyone because he didn't want to stop playing ball. "I wanted to play the whole season," he said.

But by the post season, Will was too weak to compete in the starting lineup. Still, the senior guard, number 10, was on hand to celebrate his team's Public League 2A City Championship in March.

He admits chemotherapy is tough, but it hasn't affected his appetite. "I still eat," he said. "I just ate a big hoagie. I have a taste for chicken and Caesar salad right now."

Nurses are optimistic about his prognosis, noting his youth and his terrific attitude.

"He walked in with that attitude," said nurse practitioner Kathy Longo, "something I think is a result of being in sports, a team mentality."

Will's girlfriend, Britney, a nursing student, is learning to care for him at home, which he will be visiting temporarily tomorrow for his prom.

"Yes, I'm going to the prom," he said. "I have hair, thank God!"

After tomorrow night's prom, Will must return to the hospital. He will begin radiation therapy in the coming weeks. He says he has been getting lots of love from his teammates, his classmates and his coach, who sleeps in a chair in Will's hospital room every night.

Will has received word that his full scholarship to Towson University in Maryland will now be deferred until 2010, so he can complete treatment.

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