John Johnson is a 16 year old sophomore student-athlete, who attends Central Gwinnett High School in Lawrenceville, Georgia. John, who goes by John-John, can instantly steal the attention of anyone he comes in contact with. Whether it is with his radiant smile or his athletic ability, both on the basketball court or the baseball field John-John commands the attention of those in attendance. In December of 2015, John-John was diagnosed with cancer. His battle with cancer started when he was having trouble breathing while competing on the Junior Varsity basketball team at Central Gwinnett High School. His mother took him to the doctor’s office where they diagnosed him with a sinus infection and prescribed him with antibiotics. After several more trips to the doctor, his mother requested to see an ear, nose and throat specialist. When she called to make an appointment she was told that it would be at least three weeks before they could see him. Over the next couple of days John-John started to get headaches and complained that his breathing troubles where getting worse, to the point where he was not able to breathe through his nose. His mother took him to Children’s Hospital of Atlanta Egleston, where they tried to scope his nasal cavity and they discovered that they could not get the scope into the nasal passage. The doctors then took him to get an x-ray where they discovered the mass. Surgery was scheduled for the next day and just before the doctors decided they needed a CT scan to see how big the mass was that they were about to remove. Once they saw how big the mass was, they did a biopsy which revealed that it was cancer.
John John almost immediately started chemo therapy in hopes of reducing the size of the tumor. He will have to undergo chemo therapy for ten months in which he will not be able to attend school with his friends, continue the basketball season (a season in which the team ended up winning the Junior Varsity league Championship), nor will he be able to play on the Varsity baseball team in which he was a starter and a leader as a freshman. Once he found out that he had cancer, his biggest fear was not the cancer itself, but that the teams in which he was an integral part of would forget about him. The coaching staff at Central Gwinnett assured him that he would not be forgotten. John-John was able to make it out to the JV Championship game and when his team won, all of his teammates went into the stands and brought him out on the court to celebrate with them. On the baseball team his jersey will be present at every game to ensure that John-John knows he is still a part of the team.