LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW)-- On the football field, 11-year old Nathaniel Powell is pretty good at making tackles. But on June 30th of this year, Nathaniel was forced to tackle something other than quarterbacks.
"We were in the living room at my grandparents house, my mom and my aunt Nikki they saw a lump in my throat, like kind of right here, so my mom took me into the emergency room and everything kind of started from there," Said Nathaniel Powell.
Over the next month, Nathaniel underwent multiple test before having a biopsies on July 30th.
"I was scared, I was confident that it wasn't going to be anything, the possibility were so low, I think it was in the single digitals percent that it could be cancer," said Nathaniel's father Jimmy Powell.
The following day, his 11th birthday, Nathaniel was diagnosed with stage 3 thyroid cancer. "It was one of the 2 times I cried during the whole process, that was the hardest hit," said Jimmy Powell.
Nathaniel spent most of the month of August in a hospital room, while other kids were going to the pool and playing ball, Nathaniel was undergoing intense radiation treatments and two successful surgeries to remove the tumor and both his left and right thyroid.
After beating cancer, Nathaniel had only one wish, to see his dad coach his team.
"I wasn't sure how long care was going to be and how well things were going to go, I asked him and his immediate answer was, if he could play the last play of the last game that he wanted me on the sideline and I told him I would do that," said Jimmy Powell. "He's coached me since 3rd grade we play football all the time, even when there is not practice or games, so I told him I wanted him to be there even if I wasn't playing," said Nathaniel Powell.
On September 28th, roughly 3 months from his initial trip to the ER, Nathaniel suited up for his Boys and Girls Club Football team.
"It was crazy because I didn't know I would be able to play football so soon," said Nathaniel Powell. "I knew what he wanted and to see him get that sooner then he expected, that's as big of smile that you're going to get from him," said Jimmy Powell.
Nathaniel is ready to tackle any challenge that life may throw his way.
If you would like to help out the Powell's. Fox Hollow G.C. is hosting a cancer benefit on November 9th.
The event will run from 1 p.m. - until 10 p.m.
For more details you can visit Nathaniel's Carebridge site: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/nathanielpowell
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