NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) — October is breast cancer awareness month, a time to remember fighters and celebrate survivors.
October is also a crucial time for Lowcountry high school football teams, fighting for playoff position and trying to see out their goal of finishing their season with a win.
For defending state Champion Fort Dorchester, breast cancer awareness hits close to home with Wide Receiver’s coach, Kevin White, battling the disease.
“I was diagnosed on June 15th, 2016,” said White. “It was kind of crazy, you never expect it to be you.”
He might have Breast Cancer, but cancer doesn’t define Kevin White.
White calls himself a 27-year-old football junkie.
“I played it, my father played it. I grew up playing in the cul-de-sac outside our house.”
Kevin went to Fort Dorchester High School and now sits in a rare position as being one of the few to ever play both offense and defense.
“He almost played iron-man football,” said Fort Dorchester head Coach Steve LaPrad. “He was a great receiver and a great defensive back.”
White graduated and attended Newberry College, where he played on the football team but he soon transferred to South Carolina, where he walked-on as a wide receiver.
Now Kevin is back in North Charleston, becoming the first football player to become an assistant coach at Fort Dorchester.
“I enjoy helping kids. I want see them successful in the classroom, on the field, and in life,” said White.
The hard work paid off in his first season, as Fort Dorchester won their first-ever state championship in football.
“We got the state championship,” Kevin says with a smile. “The big one.”
But six, short months later, Kevin had to call the ultimate audible. He was diagnosed with breast cancer. He would soon have a mastectomy and undergo months of chemotherapy.
“I never thought it would be me,” said White.
Despite the diagnosis, surgery, and rounds of chemo, White never missed a day of work.
“I’ve seen him run behind the building, throw up, and then run back and never miss a drill,” said LaPrad. “He’s special.”
Only one percent of people diagnosed with breast cancer are men. Most would see it as a death sentence but Kevin saw it as an opportunity to teach his players a life-lesson.
“If they can get anything from this, you just gotta push through,” said White. “Your life isn’t always going to be easy.”
White completed his last round of chemotherapy October 5, 2016.
In addition to “Football Coach,” White can add “survivor” to his resume.
He says the plan going forward is to stay healthy, focus on football, and get regular scans.