S.U. Football Team Rallies For Victory Against Cancer - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

S.U. Football Team Rallies For Victory Against Cancer

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SALISBURY, Md. - The Salisbury University football team is prepping for a championship run, but a key player is missing from the game plan.

A.J. Slye is off the field, fighting leukemia.

He just finished up his first semester of college and a championship season with the Sea Gulls, when he got the tough news on December 15.

"I still think about him all the time," said Sophomore Nick Anzallo at practice on Monday. "Especially out here."

Anzallo and Slye became friends quickly freshman year as the two got adjusted to being in college and playing on the team.  Nearly a year later, while his team hit the field, Slye is getting treatment in Memphis.

"I'm still fighting," Slye said. "Every day I'm getting better and better."

"When I found out, especially with him being so close to me, it really affected me."

Slye has had multiple treatments to help him fight the blood cancer.  The first round of treatment in June showed signs of promise. The levels of cancer fell to nearly 2 percent, but it the numbers rose just three months later.

"I'm fighting as hard as I can," said Slye. "Some days are better than others."

A-J calls the S.U. team his family, and like any family, the team now rallies for victory against his cancer.

"I was at Salisbury for just a semester," Slye said. "I didn't think I had that much of an impact on anybody."

But that impact is clear, from Ribbons on the team's helmets, to T-Shirts sporting support and a campus-wide walk in his honor.

"He motivates us probably just as much as we motivate him, so that's what it's all about," said Head Coach Sherman Wood.

"This is our way of telling him that he's still part of our family and he can rejoin us in the future," said Kevin Costello, Assistant Coach.

Slye says he has similar plans.

"I'll keep fighting and as long as they'll keep fighting we'll be good."

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