Cedar Park teen fights cancer while helping others

Words of encouragement and hand written cards line the wall of Lance White's room. This time last year a cancer diagnosis took him off the football field. The disease may have sidelined White, 14, but not his spirit.

"He's a caring, big hearted young man who has been through a lot," said Steve White, Lance's dad.

Lance is a ninth grader at Cedar Park High School. 

"The way it hit me was unexpected," said Lance. 
 
"We thought it was the heat." said White. 
 
In 2014, just as school was starting and football practice was picking up Lance wasn't feeling himself. His parents decided to take him to see a doctor at a clinic since it was the Labor Day weekend. That doctor sent them to the hospital and before they knew it they were on a helicopter going to Dallas. 
 
Lance was in bad shape. He was diagnosed with t-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Over the course of the last year he's spent 76 days in the hospital. The cancer forced him to miss school. 
 
"Dr. Herrod gave him a pep talk. He said you're in the first quarter and you're going to get this done and he gave us the courage not to question what was going on," said Lance's dad. 
 
The teen is making progress and is remission currently undergoing maintenance therapy. This year he's back at school and some days he keeps up with class using video technology. 
 
The CPHS football team became family. Lance went to as many games as he could last year and plans to do the same this year. 
 
"Those people just put me on their backs and carried me through this," said Lance. 
 
"This year's team has kept them in their thoughts and prayers," said Lance's dad. 
 
Lance's journey isn't over yet. His therapy will continue into 2017. 
 
"For the most part he's taking this in stride. He's had some ups and downs but he's still  Lance underneath," said Dr. Phil Neff, a pediatric oncologist at Dell Children's Medical Center. 
 
"I hope to watch him play football or baseball or anything and go to college and put all of this behind him and be a regular kid and I'm sure he will," said Dr. Neff. 
 
While Lance fights he's focused on others. 
 
"I have a few ideas like to get toys for the clinic," said Lance. With help from the Cedar Park community and the football team Lance has collected wish items for the Blood and Cancer Center at Dell Children's. 
 
He wants to eventually start a foundation to support other children going through the same journey. 
 
"I just want to make it as comfortable as it seems and to know there are people acknowledging that and chipping in just makes me want to cry sometimes and I'm 14. It's hard for a 14 year old to cry," said Lance. 
 
He has a lot of healing to do but his family expects him to be back out on the field. 
 
"You can do it and get through it you just have to put your mind to it," said Lance. 
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