By Jeff Steers
(October 1, 2023 7:33 AM ET) Imagine being a perfectly healthy football player getting ready for your junior season.
During workout sessions, you are not able to go as hard as normal.
When you are suddenly short of breath and nauseous, it is time to go to the doctor.
That was the situation Addison High School junior Jay Griewahn found himself in early July.
Nearly two weeks later the AHS linebacker was diagnosed with Leukemia.
“I could feel something was not right,” Jay said. “When I go into the weightroom I go hard … but I wasn’t able to do that.”
It was not until the hospital conducted blood tests that Leukemia was detected.
“The diagnosis was life changing and a shock to my heart,” Jay’s mother Jessica said.
That is when the football community, Addison, and friends from Florida took charge. A Go Fund Me Page was set up by Melinda Brenner for the family. Nearly $10,000 was raised for Jay and Jessica.
“As a single mom, it was such a huge relief,” Jessica said. “I am able to get time off from work and attend all of his appointments.”
Jessica said Jay is in phase two of a four-phase process that could take as long as two more years. The outreach from the community – and football in general – has been mind-blowing.
Jessica said Jay received notes from football players around the country including one from Detroit Lions’ player Aiden Hutchinson.
Reserve University of Michigan quarterback Davis Warren sent Jay a video message that meant a lot to the budding high school player.
“Davis was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2019 and fought through it to become a quarterback at U of M,” Jessica said. “His football family has been outstanding.”
Jay has appointments every Thursday and has chemotherapy every two weeks. Last Thursday Jessica said he was in a hurry to get back for his team’s pep rally for the homecoming game against Homer.
“I am here to support my team … and we are doing well,” Jay said. “I am glad to be alive and supporting my team.
“I am remaining very positive and love supporting my teammates.”
Jay serves his teammates water, gives high fives, and keeps footballs dry for play on the field.
Addison is 6-0 on the season and in first place in the Cascades Conference Western Division.
When asked if Jay could be on the field again before he graduates, Jessica and Jay have different answers.
Jay is taking a wait and see attitude.
“ I am going to take it step by step,” Jay said.
Jessica if a little bit more definite in her answer.
“Absolutely, he will be back on the field someday,” she said. “A lot has been taken away from Jay, but he perseveres.”
Jay knows that football is out for 2023 but would love to come back for his senior season and play for the Panthers.
“I love football and would do anything to play again,” Jay said. “I am glad to be alive and supporting my teammates.
“Leukemia is not stopping me.”