Oklahoma football: Austin Woods battling through chemotherapy treatments

Junior center plans to keep playing football as he battles Hodgkin's lymphoma.
by Stephanie Kuzydym Published: August 14, 2012

Hodgkin's lymphoma, Woods was told, is just a bad “luck of the draw,” and it hasn't run anywhere else in his family.

Originally, he wasn't going to play football this season. He was going take a redshirt, but he trained himself to have a tough mind, through workouts and through treatments. He became an inspiration and said that's what he wants to be — he wants to show his teammates that days can be tough, but if they work together, they can get through it.

“When I got diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, I decided I was going to take a fighters' mentality approach to it and I was going to be there with my teammates,” Woods said. “They're all really important to me and we're all brothers on this team.

“I wanted to take the approach that I was going to be there for them as much as I could, and thankfully God's given me the ability to stay healthy through the whole process of chemo. It hasn't knocked me down too much.”

Woods handled the treatments so well, only missing those two days, that the doctors told him it was his decision whether or not to return to the field this year.

“You know, since I invested and went through summer workouts I decided I'm going to go ahead and play,” Woods said. “I'm able and ready to play football this year and that's what I decided to do.”

He always told himself he'd be able to play football again. Sitting out was a thought he would not let cross his mind.

“I love football,” Wood said. “I love my teammates. I love the University of Oklahoma and football is the first thing on my mind.”

by Stephanie Kuzydym
Stephanie Kuzydym learned at a young age that life is a game of inches. That's just one reason why she loves football. Kuzydym joined The Oklahoman in July 2012. Before arriving in the state, Kuzydym was an intern for the sports departments at...
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