At 2 years old, he was diagnosed with cancer. Now he is a student at West Hall and a football player

After an initial round of aggressive treatments, doctors performed a bone marrow biopsy and found Daniel to be essentially cancer-free, although his last round of chemotherapy did not come until March 2010.

Carrie remembers that moment clearly.

“I just started to cry and the doctor gave me a hug,” she said. When the doctor came out, she called her husband and told him the good news. “He said to me, ‘Is everything all right? I’m like, ‘Yeah, the cancer is gone. There is no sign of cancer.

After hanging up the phone, Carrie took a moment to herself.

“I just sat down and prayed and thanked the Lord for touching him,” she said.

Some 12 years later, Daniel’s mother grabs her arm on the bleachers and searches for the slight scar that is apparently a sign of his Down syndrome. She can barely find him. This scar is practically the only thing that sets Daniel apart from his peers.

Now 14, Daniel is a freshman at West Hall High School and plays as a linebacker and tight end on the football team. Like many older brothers, his younger sister annoys him endlessly. And like many students, her favorite class, science, is the one where the teacher doesn’t assign any homework. After high school, he hopes to pursue a career in criminal justice.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in the Hall County School District. Daniel has been named the team captain of the Cancer Awareness Match for the West Hall High Spartans.

Such a sight was almost unthinkable more than a decade ago, her mother said.

“Pride is an understatement,” Carrie said. “Honestly, I sat in the crowd and looked at him and screamed like a baby. Because 12 years ago I didn’t know if it would be possible. So just watching him do what he loves and be able to do it made my heart swell with pride.

The Standridge’s each have “marbles of courage” from their hospital stays. Each color represents a processing step. Yellow, for example, represents an overnight stay in the hospital. One pearl in particular makes the Standridge necklaces unique: a little red car.

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