PLAY OF COURAGE: Gilmer High School freshman with several tumors balances school work, filming football

Local News

GILMER, Texas (KETK) – Balancing school work, filming football and battling tumors is the reality for 9th grader Caden Bledsoe.

Bledsoe goes to Gilmer High School and films the Buckeyes football games and practices.

“I have three brain tumors, in the brain and several down my spine,” Bledsoe said.

Back in 2018, after enduring four months of severe migraines, doctors at Children’s Hospital in Dallas diagnosed Bledsoe with several tumors.

Although the tumors are benign, for Bledsoe, this is a constant battle.

“When you run into people that are going through things like this it makes us have perspective and we can be thankful for things we’re given and we can rally around those who have to fight through difficult times,” Gilmer head football coach Alan Metzel said.

One of the things that takes Bledsoe’s mind off of hard times is filming for the football team.

“It’s just a way for me to be apart of the team without being able to play football,” Bledsoe said.

His hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.

“Honestly, I think he brings us good luck especially this year, after coming back from last year, and honestly I think he’s pretty much our good luck charm,” Gilmer football player Bodie Henson said.

“Everybody compliments me on how I film up there and it’s just nice to be appreciated,” Bledsoe said.

Head coach Alan Metzel says his first time meeting Blesoe brought him to tears.

“No sense of griping, no sense of feeling sorry for himself. It about broke me down,” Metzel said.

Bledsoe has had an impact on coach Metzel, his staff and the players and Bledsoe says his source of strength for being so positive is his mom.

“When I’m freaking out and crying, she’s also freaking out and crying with me. I’m never alone when she’s around. She’s just all time, all time support,” Bledsoe said.

Bledsoe says his family will work together to get rid of the tumors.

“I’m determined to kill these things and just get it all over with. I pray to god every night it just leaves my body,” Bledsoe said.

Until that day comes, Bledsoe says he plans to continue filming football and keep having faith.

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