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Teen returns to the football field while also tackling cancer

The Nebraska teen's parents say a routine physical examination may have saved the 15-year-old's life.

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It’s news every parent dreads. Doctors diagnosed 15-year-old Devin Meier with cancer this summer. As childhood cancer awareness month begins, Meier's parents encourage everyone to take preventative measures, like getting an annual check-up.

“It was a shock to find out that it was cancerous, obviously,” said Megan Meier, Devin’s mom.

Meier was getting ready to kick off his freshman year at Elkhorn South High School, located about 20 minutes outside of Omaha, when his pediatrician found a lump in his throat. It was thyroid cancer.

“He had no symptoms at all with this and just was literally going in just so he could play football for the school,” said Megan Meier, who explained that the cancer may have gone undetected if not for a physical Devin had to get before football season. “We wouldn’t have known anything otherwise.”

Playing football is what Devin lives for. Two weeks after surgery, he has been cleared to get back on the field.

“He does the right thing, he’s the first one in, first one out of the weight room, picking up after kids, and he leads by example,” said freshman coach Jeff Hunter.

Devin’s parents are optimistic their football fanatic will tackle cancer as easily as he does the opposing team.

“He’s generally a positive, tough kid and he seems like he’s staying positive and tough and I’m sure he’ll beat this as well,” said Devin’s dad, Ken Meier.

The Meiers’ message: get regular checkups to catch cancer before it enters the red zone.

Doctors will determine if Devin’s cancer has spread in about a month.

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