Brain Cancer Survivor Austin Roden Back Coaching East Ridge and Coaching to Beat Cancer
East Ridge, TN-(WDEF) Austin Roden had to give up his coaching job at East Ridge last season to continue his fight with brain cancer. But Roden has defeated the deadly disease, and now he’s back on the sidelines ready to coach up the Pioneers and coach up cancer awareness.
Austin Roden feels like a winner every day having beaten brain cancer twice.
Reporter-"So you had seven tumors?"
"Seven tumors, yes sir. I had one surgically removed from my left side. Then the six left were in my central nervous system. And God made it possible for me to still be here."
And Roden is thrilled to be back for another season as the receivers coach at East Ridge.
"To be back on the field with kids. That is really my love. That’s one thing I have wanted to do my entire life."
Said East Ridge head coach Tracy Malone,"Besides what he’s going through. Besides the inspiration. He’s a dang good football coach. He brings a lot to the table. We lost a lot when stopped being able to be around here last year."
And Roden loves being treated as just one of the guys.
Said Malone,"He says guys I don’t want you to treat me any different. A football coaches locker room is a pretty rough place."
Assistants joking with Roden,"Why don’t you model for us some of your wide receiver drills. Get the cones. Gets the cones. Yes. Get the cones Austin."
When Roden isn’t coaching, he’s working for Saxon/Hart, a cross-marketing firm to raise awareness for cancer. Their slogan is blank cancer.
"Blank cancer. Hashtag blank cancer. It’s brand new. Nobody knows. We’re trying to bring something new to the table. Bring something fun to bring awareness."
Roden plans a special Blank Cancer week in Chattanooga the first of November. For now, Roden loves counting his blessings.
"Life is short with a lot of problems. I’m just a normal kid that’s been given an opportunity. That’s all it is. I’ve beat cancer, but there are plenty of people out there that have beat cancer. I’ve just been given an opportunity to speak about it and make people believe that you’ve got to enjoy the little things."