Westhill football player played 2019 season with Leukemia

ONONDAGA, N.Y. — Most high school football players have a tough time making it back onto the field coming off a torn ACL. For Westhill’s Abdullah Abraham, who missed the full 2018 season with a torn ACL, his 2019 season was even more difficult.

Abraham’s sophomore campaign in 2018 ended after just one play.

“First play I get in I’m excited. As soon as I get in against that lineman, my knee twists and I hear a pop,” Abraham said.

That pop was a fully torn ACL, and after months of rehab and physical training, he was ready for his junior campaign. Just two weeks before the 2019 season began, he went to urgent care after experiencing strep-like symptoms.

Abraham was later diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia found most commonly in adults, which he said was one of the scariest moments of his life.

“I did not know Leukemia was cancer. So when she ended up saying it was cancer I was like, ‘oh, I could die. Like, this is really bad.’ I couldn’t stop crying to be honest. It was probably the scariest moment of my life,” Abraham said.

For Westhill’s Head Football Coach, Adam Griffo, hearing about one of his top young players possibly missing time was difficult to hear. 

“It was a tough ride up not knowing what was going to happen. I was just afraid that we were going to lose him.”

Fortunately for Griffo, Abraham returned to the team before the start of the season and went on to record 64 tackles and four sacks.