Young cancer survivor spends day with Mavs

Photo by William Woody—12-year-old Austin Todd, left, a recent cancer survivor, and Mesa State wrestler James Breidel share a laugh at center mat during a special tribute to Todd and his battle with cancer Wednesday evening at Brownson Arena.

Austin Todd couldn’t get the look of amazement off his face.

From the moment the Cedaredge 12-year-old walked into the new Mesa State College wrestling room Wednesday to the moment he left Brownson Arena after the Mavericks’ Maroon & White scrimmage, Todd was in awe.

“It was good,” Todd said. “This is really nice compared to ours (at Cedaredge Middle School).

“I really like the coach.”

Todd, who is a wrestler, was recently declared cancer-free after battling lymphoma.

Todd has attended Mesa State’s wrestling camp, but he missed his wrestling season last school year because of his illness.

His doctor, Duane Hartshorn, contacted Mesa State coach Chuck Pipher, and they set up Todd’s visit with the Mavericks.

“He’s a special guest,” Pipher said. “It’s a great opportunity for us.”

Todd was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2004 and treated with chemotherapy that year, Hartshorn said.

He had reached the five-year period of remission when his family discovered swelling on the same spot where the lymphoma was first found on his neck.

Tests showed the lump was benign and he had it removed six weeks ago.

“He’s been the most stoic, agreeable kid,” Hartshorn said. “When I first met him, he wore a cowboy hat. He shakes your hand and is well-mannered.”

Todd was introduced midway through the dual and spent most of his time next to Pipher during the scrimmage.


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