One thing we’ve found that unites a fair share of testicular cancer survivors is their tenacity and refusal to ever give up. For Nolan Cooney, a 24 year old punter with the New Orleans Saints, that’s been a character trait for his entire life.
Cooney was diagnosed with cancer while a junior in high school. His family doctor had noticed that one of his gonads was swollen and a more in-depth examination revealed that he had testicular cancer and one ball needed to be removed. Unfortunately, the cancer had spread to his lungs so he was required to also undergo a nine-week chemotherapy course. Amazingly, the three-sport athlete was back on the court for basketball playoffs just days after finishing chemo.
As he grew, Coomey realized that football was his sport of choice, having previously played soccer, basketball and baseball. He learned how to be a punter by watching YouTube videos and attending a special training camp after his junior year. At Bridgton Academy in Maine, where he spent a year in college prep, he played football for the first time and eventually he was offered a walk-on spot at Syracuse University.
When in college, the young punter worked his way up the ranks and by his senior year was attending on a football scholarship. He was named a third-team All-ACC punter and broke the Syracuse punting records. Earlier this year, the Saints signed him as an undrafted free agent, and his pro career began.
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