Olive Branch football star battles Leukemia

By Chip Washington - bio | email

OLIVE BRANCH, MS (WMC-TV) - Olive Branch football standout and Auburn signee Shon Coleman is fighting a new battle off the field: Leukemia.

Coleman's mother, DeKeisha Tunstall, posted on her Facebook page that Coleman several days ago had been recently diagnosed with a Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. She wrote that he was "taking his chemotherapy treatment like a champ."

Tuesday, she said his case was progressing well.

"We found out last Wednesday. He had surgery the previous Tuesday while he was on spring break," she said. "They sent the samples over to the pathologist and the report came across Wednesday."  

Tunstall said the initial surgery removed several fatty tumors  Looking back, she said, there were warning signs.

"We could see some symptoms back to October," she said. "A couple of bouts with the flu, achy ankles, thinking it was football related, but it was one of the symptoms."

Olive Branch football Coach Scott Samsel said for Coleman, attitude is everything.

"I think he's real positive and upbeat," Samsel said. "I think the entire family knows what he's up against, and attitudes a lot of it, from what I understand."

Tunstall said her son is a fighter, and is determined to win this battle.

"Physically he's still where he was on the football field," she said. "Mentally, he's still where he was on the football field, and he's determined to fight this."

Auburn coach Gene Chizik told the AP his thoughts are with the offensive lineman and his family, not about what his status for the season might be.

The 6-foot-7, 285-pound Coleman was the top-rated recruit out of Mississippi by Rivals.com.

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