Blessings in disguise are usually not masked in a positive situations. Some people find themselves in the midst of strenuous or life-threatening events—but in the end, they see that it was just a necessary step to something great.
Chase Rhodes is now in college, but before he was faced with hard-hitting nights of studying for exams, he faced physical tragedy. When he was in seventh grade, his father accidently shot him in the leg while cleaning his rifle, and the boy required several surgeries to repair the damage.
Just one year later, while playing in a football game, Chase took a hard hit to his torso. Due to the intense pain he felt afterwards, he assumed that he had broken ribs. But when doctors took an X-ray to reveal the problem, Chase was shocked.
After a hard hit during a football game, doctors found a mass in Chase’s torso.
“The doctor said they found a mass in my chest,” Chase told WDAM. “It wasn’t normal, but it didn’t look anything too crazy.”
Unfortunately, it was serious. The sports-loving teen was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma—but miraculously the doctors had found out in time.
“Typically if you have a mass that size, you also have other lymph nodes that are positive for cancer,” a nurse named Rhoda told WDAM. “Based on the initial diagnostic results, he didn’t have any of that, which means that we caught it really early.”
“That hit was pretty critical when we found it because he had no symptoms.”
Nevertheless, Chase was not happy about being diagnosed with cancer and didn’t understand why it had happened.
“When I was first diagnosed, I was so scared,” Chase said. “I couldn’t move in the bed. I couldn’t physically move. To me, cancer was really bad, but it couldn’t happen to me because it was too bad to happen to me.”
Chase’s life changed drastically, causing him to not be able to participate in football, and he was also home-schooled until he was a freshman in high school.
His mother Rhonda Rhodes was also devastated—but quickly realized it had been a blessing.
“While I was initially very angry, once we realized how lucky we were to find the mass when we did, I was actually thankful that it happened.”
His family’s frustration turned into gratitude overtime.
Rhonda was so thankful, she even wrote a thank-you letter to the football player from the other team, who was the reason Chase was sent to the hospital.
“God used him to make a huge difference in our lives,” Rhonda said to WDAM.
Chase got through his battle with cancer and returned to school. His best friend, Luke Logan said, “Right when he came back, it was like nothing changed and it was the same ole, same ole.”
No matter what tragedies Chase went through in the past, he overcame them all and is now on the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College baseball team. His coach, Rodney Batts was not around during Chase’s struggles, but based on his athletic performance, he is not surprised that he won the battle.
“Knowing Chase now, being with him for six months and now knowing what he’s been through, it’s not surprising knowing that he overcame that,” Batts said to WDAM. “It doesn’t surprise me that it was his attitude going into cancer and beating it.”