The hardships that WSU senior center Riley Sorenson has faced in the last year are mmense. From losing both parents, to almost missing out on his senior due to cancer, Sorenson has seemingly gone through it all. Thursday night, KREM’s Evan Closky shed light on the offensive lineman’s tumultuous last 10 months.
The story provides insight into what has been going on in Sorenson’s life, and the support that’s been given to him. Sorenson missed two of the Coug’s final three football games in 2015 to be with his ill parents. In November, he wasn’t in Pullman to play Colorado because he was with his mom, who had been diagnosed with stage four melanoma.
Then during the Sun Bowl, more bad news came, his dad had suffered a heart attack. In early January he passed, and less then 6 months later Riley’s mom lost her battle to cancer. Thankfully, the support and generosity of the WSU community was there for Riley when he was going through the unimaginable.
After hearing of the news, friends, family and fans rose over $87,000 through two separate GoFundMe accounts for the grieving Sorensons. However, the hurdles didn’t stop there. Soon after the death of his mother, Sorenson was diagnosed with testicular cancer. But again, he had people on his side to help him get through it. He even got some surprise visitors on a day in June.
"One of the neatest things was when we were working summer camps in California. We were down there and Coach Leach, probably 20-25 of us on staff, directed the bus up to Riley’s house in the neighborhood," said offensive line coach Clay McGuire.
While the days were ticking down to the start of school, Riley was waiting to hear if he would need to undergo chemotherapy. Finally, he got the good break he had been waiting for. It was determined that Sorenson wouldn’t need chemo, enabling him to play his senior football season.
Instead, the center will need to go in to the doctors to get his blood drawn and get a CT scan on a regular basis. While that may sound like a lot for most college student’s, it’s definitely a win after the year Sorenson has had.
It's bigger than football: The Riley Sorenson story | KREM.com
To understand these words is to know the man in the middle; the strength he has and the support he needed to get to this point.
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