Kyle Strong: Gatesville football player battles cancer

Published: Sep. 30, 2020 at 9:44 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 1, 2020 at 10:36 AM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Just as the Gatesville football team began its 2020 season, one of its own received a cancer diagnosis that left him sidelined.

Kyle Strmiska is a senior at Gatesville High School, but right now he’s in the hospital for chemotherapy. He’s battling a cartilage cancer and showing everyone what it means to be Kyle Strong.

This summer Kyle started experiencing jaw pain. After a scan, doctors found a cancerous tumor that starts in his jaw and pushes into his brain. They told Kyle he had Mesenchymal Chondrosarcoma.

Despite this tough news, Gatesville head coach Luke Howard says Kyle showed strength immediately.

“When we first got the news the first time I saw him after that he came walking in with a smile on his face like it was no big deal. Like hey we’re going to go beat this thing,” said Howard.

Now people in Gatesville can be seen wearing yellow shirts that say ‘Kyle Strong’ and his football team has a small reminder of him with them at all times.

“One helmet sticker we do have this year is the Kyle Strmiska sticker. We have his number there on the back,” said Coach Howard.

Kyle’s fight hasn’t been easy. He’s had a few complications. Including contracting COVID-19, the shingles, and the chickenpox.

He has a lot more treatment ahead of him, which includes a trip to a hospital in Houston. But for Kyle, the only option is to stay positive.

“All the prayers and all the support from everybody makes it easier to keep a positive attitude,” said Kyle.

It also helps that Kyle has been able to be around his team. He’s been at team meals and even attending the homecoming game.

This Saturday, October 3 there will be a benefit in Gatesville for Kyle. It will be from 12 p.m. - 6 p.m at the Stone Ridge Ranch. Kyle will be in attendance. There will be BBQ plates for sale, a Cornhole tournament, and a silent auction.

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