Lee’s Welfel beat the biggest opponent of her life

CLEVELAND, Tenn. (WDEF) — Lee Flames freshman Ally Welfel went from being the leading-scorer of her high school basketball team to fighting cancer in a matter of months. 25 radiation and nine chemo treatments later, she’s back on the court playing the game she loves.

News 12’s Angela Moryan sat down with her as she tells her story:

Moryan: “You have had quite a journey. What was it like when you found out you had been diagnosed with cancer at such an early age?”

Ally Welfel: “You don’t ever think it’s going to happen to you so when it does, I honestly felt like numb to it almost because I didn’t ever see myself as sick. You know, I was never a sick kid. I never got sick when I was young. So for this to happen, I was like, ‘I don’t know.’ Cancer’s so stereotyped but like nobody really understands, and I didn’t understand either. My family didn’t. So we just kind of had to take it day by day. You have to look at it the exact same way — as an opponent. You walk in a gym, and you think, okay I’m going to play this team. This is how you’re going to beat them. You have to game plan. It’s the same thing. You go in, meet with the doctors, you get teh game plan and you just execute the game plan. You show up to radiation or you show up to chemo, and that’s just what you have to do.”

Moryan: “How did Coach Rowe help you get through all that summer?”

Welfel: “I facetimed him and coach Spangler. I was sitting on my front porch and I was like, ‘Hey, I got to tell y’all something.’ And of course they were like, ‘Oh, what’s happening.’ They didn’t know. And I told them and I start crying. And all he said was ‘Don’t worry about the basketball. Just get better.’ So it made me feel better to understand that it’s not just about basketball.”

Moryan: “The team was in Atlanta when you had your final chemo treatment in November. What were the emotions like in that moment?”

Welfel: “It just really felt good for them to show up and they really do care. And it just makes you feel good. Coach Rowe said this is the most important trip we’ll take this year. And it just made me feel good. I always cry. It just really made me feel like there are people around me that are going to love me and get me through.”

Moryan: “Just a week after your last chemo treatment, you were here, on campus, on the court. What was that like to finally get back on the hardwood after six months of not being able to play?”

Welfel: “Basketball was always my stress relief. So when I was on chemo and doing chemo, I didn’t have that option to like you know release my frustrations or anything like that. So when I actually got to like shoot or something, I took that opportunity to just let everything out which is what I love to do. So when I had that opportunity, I was just so excited to be able to put a ball through the hoop for once.”

Moryan: “You have the biggest smile I’ve seen in a long time. How do you stay so positive through all of this?”

Welfel: “I’m ‘cured’ — whatever you want to call it. There’s nothing not to be happy about. God is good, and He has healed me, and there’s nothing not to be happy about. You know, I have my family, I have my friends, I have basketball, everything I could want. There’s nothing, even because of my circumstance, there’s nothing that’s not to be happy about. I wouldn’t change this for the world. I’ve learned so much, made so many good friends that there’s nothing I would change.”

Categories: College, Featured, Local News, Sports, Sports – Local Sports News

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