Bell City Senior Plays Through Cancer Treatments

Bell City Senior Plays Through Cancer Treatments
By: Wendy Ray

The Bell City boys basketball team is headed to state. T

he Cubs have had a lot of success, they've won two Class-1 state titles over the past three seasons. Tuesday
afternoon, the Bell City student body got teammates pumped up to play the Jefferson Eagles Thursday morning. Team members are heading up to Columbia, where they hope for a win that will give them back to back state titles.
Of course teams have to deal with a lot of injuries throughout the season, but one member of the Bell City team has a much bigger health concern, a diagnosis of cancer. A.J. Henry was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease in January, but that hasn't stopped him from being an active part of the Bell City team. A.J. has given his team some inspiration to win.

17 year old A.J. Henry loves to be on the Bell City High School basketball court shooting some hoops. A.J. doesn't let anything stop him from being there, not even a diagnosis of Hodgkin's Disease. "The next day I went to the doctor and the lymph nodes on my neck were swollen," A.J. says. A.J. was diagnosed in January. He's had ten chemotherapy treatments; two more are left to go. Radiation treatments follow the chemotherapy. A.J. admits the chemo makes him a little sick. "It's not that bad. It doesn't hit me until three or four hours later. It's no big deal. It's not nothing I can't handle," he says.

Through it all A.J. hasn't been worried about his cancer, he's been concerned about his teammates. He wants to get right back on the court and play some basketball. "This is my third one. I think I'm the only person on the team who's been on three state championship teams," A.J. says. A.J. and the rest of the Bell City Cubs are getting ready to head off to their state game in Columbia. A.J.'s going to play in the state game with his teammates who have been right by his side. "I couldn't ask for a better team," A.J. says. "I don't think there's a better one out there."

As we first told you in sports, A.J.'s teammates shaved their heads to support A.J. He lost his hair because of chemotherapy. A.J. tells us that his doctors say his treatments are working. He should be finished with his treatments in mid May.