ELSIE — This past week, Ovid-Elsie High School students and staff created an “M-ZONE for Justin Cole,” a student who has been battling cancer for more than three years.
They took a group photo and made a video before Friday’s basketball games.
They played the school fight song and sang in the honor Cole’s fight. At the game, they hosted an “Orange Out,” Justin’s favorite color, at the “Coaches for Cancer” basketball games.
Cole is a 15-year-old from Elsie, battling B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
While playing sixth-grade football in 2016, he became weak, dizzy and pale. He was taken to the emergency room, and the following day, Sept. 11, 2016, was diagnosed at age 12.
Eventually, he went into remission, though he remains in treatment.
Cole wasn’t able to attend sixth grade because of the risk of infection. He was able to return to school in the fall of 2017 for seventh grade. In 2018, he got clearance to play football.
In November 2019, however, he experienced back pain that escalated.
Doctors confirmed his leukemia had returned. He is expected to undergo intense chemotherapy with a bone marrow transplant.
In addition to Friday’s show of support, there is a Michigan State University Spartans themed benefit basketball game at 7 p.m. Feb. 26 in the Ovid-Elsie High School gym to show the Cole family support. Justin is the son of Josh and Kirsten Cole. His sisters are Vivian, a freshman in college, and Evalyn, in eighth grade at O-E.
For more updates and information on Justin’s story, follow his Facebook page, “Team JC.”