The Lumberton High School football mothers are raising money online to help the Scott family. To donate, visit http://www.gofundme.com/9o9j8c
LUMBERTON — Lumberton High School sophomore Chadd Scott has plenty of reasons to cry.
Less than a week before he turned 16 on May 31, he was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer in his stomach. It’s left him with a tumor the size of a cantaloupe and has since spread to other organs, including his intestines and his bladder. That’s on top of blood clots in both his legs and his lungs, a problem that only adds to the complications of treatment.
Through it all, Chadd never cried.
“He’s a strong young man. I haven’t seen him shed the first tear yet,” his father, Larry Scott, said by phone from the Duke University Hospital in Durham.
Chadd, a lineman in the LHS football program, has been on the receiving end of support from throughout Lumberton. More than $5,000 has been raised for his family in the last week and a prayer event before school on Wednesday drew more than 60 people.
Facing a rare desmoplastic cancer that Larry Scott said is the first case the hospital has ever seen, Chadd and his family are expecting to spend as many as six weeks in Durham trying to fend off the disease through both chemotherapy and other medicines. There have been fewer than 200 reported cases of the cancer, leaving limited studies for doctors and no standard treatments.
“I just trust in God that he’s seen this day ahead of time,” said Larry Scott, whose wife, Chadd’s mother, died earlier this year. “I give God all the glory, I trust the doctors, I trust that God has given them a plan of what to do.”
Chadd left the intensive care unit on Friday but is still housed at the hospital, where he has been interacting with visitors.
“He’s got good spirits,” Larry said. “He knows what’s going on.”
Chadd was nearing the end of his sophomore year at Lumberton when he received the diagnosis on May 26.
After several weeks of working out for football, Chadd had put on extra weight and been breathing hard before an extremely swollen leg prompted a trip to the hospital.
“He didn’t think too much of it,” Larry Scott said.
Doctors discovered a blood clot in one of his legs. When Chadd attempted to go to the bathroom, he felt intense pain and further testing revealed the fatty tumor in his stomach, which Larry Scott said may have been there for up to a year.
When doctors took Chadd off blood thinners, the clots moved to his lungs and continued to surface during treatment. Further clotting could be fatal, Larry said.
Though the diagnosis was sudden, the Lumberton community was just as quick to respond.
Even as cars buzzed around the Lumberton High School parking lot on Wednesday morning, doors slamming as students readied for class, more than 60 people gathered around the flagpole at the main entrance to pray for Chadd.
The gathering drew his teammates, classmates, school administrators, and others.
“It’s been kind of sad just thinking about it,” said Chad Sluss, a friend and teammate.
His teammates described Chadd as “aggressive” and “a fighter.”
“He never gave up, even when he was getting beat,” Landon Brewer said.
LHS Principal Larry Obeda said he’s talked to numerous students and staff members who have made the trip to Durham to visit Chadd, some traveling every night. Larry Scott said the waiting room at the hospital has been filled with visitors, impressing even the doctors.
“It’s been a lot of friends from school, family,” Larry Scott said. “It’s been overwhelming.”
Larry said the family has been flooded with well-wishes via text message, calls and social media, to a point where the family has struggled to properly respond to all of them. Prayers have come not just from around the county but as far away as Canada and Russia.
Lumberton High has also been the basis of financial support for the family.
Using the fundraising website GoFundMe.com, the mothers of several Lumberton football players have helped raise almost $3,000 for the family in the last week. An in-school event led by Lumberton counselor Adrian Hammonds on Thursday encouraged each student to bring in one dollar, which raised an additional $2,139.
“I’ve told his dad Larry that we’ll take care of him here. He doesn’t have to worry about anything as far as school is concerned, but the community is starting to rally behind it,” Obeda said.
Obeda said the school will host other fundraising events, waiving the fees normally charged for using school property.
“There’s people still wanting to do more,” Obeda said.
Larry Scott comes to a loss of words when he thinks about the support the family’s received.
“I don’t have the words to say thank you,” he said. “I pray that God will bless them 100 fold and more.”
The road ahead for Chadd won’t be easy. The cure, Larry said, lies in the family’s faith.
“I’m praying and trusting and I’m still believing my son will be a miracle child,” Larry Scott said.