Tackle Cancer: UMD football player battles cancer twice

6:15 PM, Sep 25, 2013   |    comments
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DULUTH, Minn. - For those who follow University of Minnesota Duluth football, even overcast skies can't dampen the excitement the Bulldogs bring to Duluth.

The team has won two national titles in the last five seasons.

Winning football is expected here and that's exactly what Jordan Bauman got.

"I don't think I could ask for anything more," Bauman said. "I've won a national championship, not many other people can say that."

As it turns out, Jordan received so much more than a national championship. In February, the big, strong defensive end underwent a stem cell transplant. Jordan missed all of his junior season because of Hodgkin's disease. His treatment was extensive and exhausting, yet he never doubted for a second he would miss his senior season.

"I think it hit the people around me harder because the first time was a shock, but the second time I knew what to expect," Bauman said.

Jordan's second bout with cancer came after beating Hodgkin's nearly five years earlier, as a junior in high school. The cure rate for Hodgkin's is around 90 percent, meaning Jordan was one of those unlucky few who got the same cancer, a second time.

"We were in shock and more devastated by the news than him," said Jordan's brother, Matt Bauman. "For me that was always tough to understand how a kid like that can be so tough."

UMD head football coach Curt Wiese said Jordan has been an inspiration to the whole team. When Jordan was going through cancer treatment last year, the Bulldogs hosted a Tackle Cancer game and a portion of the proceeds help fund Jordan's medical expenses.

"We made the promise to him this year that we weren't going to have games focused on Jordan Bauman," Wiese said. "Our games focused on UMD football and we let him play his senior season healthy because he is, and he's made us all proud."

Jordan has big plans for the future. He's on track to attend medical school after he graduates this fall. He wants to be a small town doctor or maybe even an oncologist.

"You just don't take anything for granted because you realize how close you were to having it taken away from you," Bauman said.

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