East Hamilton’s Judson Kilpatrick Back on the Gridiron After Beating Cancer

Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) Instead of sweating at football practice, East Hamilton sophomore Judson Kilpatrick spent his spring at the Children’s Hospital at Erlanger — battling leukemia. What was a standard annual checkup at the doctor turned into chemotherapy appointments. Now Judson is stronger than ever — and scoring touchdowns for the Hurricanes.

Said head coach Grant Reynolds: “It’s a God thing, that God brought him through that. We were able to sit back and witness the miracle.”

In January, East Hamilton running back Judson Kilpatrick’s life was put on pause after being diagnosed with leukemia.

Said Kilpatrick: “It’s kind of scary. It’s just out of nowhere, out of the blue, you don’t expect anything like that to happen… It took a toll on my life, I guess. I fought for four and a half, five months to get out and just be a kid, and it was a long fight.”

Said safety Jackson Chaote:”Every day after practice, we would always say a prayer for Judson. We would always make sure we were texting Judson and keeping up with him, making sure he’s alright. We would even go to the hospital and play board games with him.”

A victorious bell rang out from Third Street in July. Kilpatrick was clear of cancer. Two months later, he scored his first touchdown for the Canes.

Said Chaote:”We were all going crazy. We were so happy for him, not just because we were winning but because he was actually back in action.”

Said Reynolds: “They were very excited. I thought we were going to get a penalty because everybody ran out on the field and hugged him, but you know what, so what? He needed that and we needed that.”

Said Chaote:”He has a crazy work ethic. To go through that then get back out on the football field and get in the weight room just to get back to it, it’s crazy. I love to see it.”

Said Reynolds: “What Judson went through and got through all of that is just a really good testament to all of us on fighting and going through adversity and that he made it through that.”

Said Chaote:”He inspires not only just this team, but I think he inspires everyone in the world because he beat one of the hardest things to beat and now he’s here.”

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