ALBANY, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - A young soccer player from Albany, Georgia spent the season on the sidelines with his ability to play on hold.
Malachi Russell is off the field, but not out of the game. He is trying to "kick cancer," and just like in sports, attitude is everything.
From the sidelines, Russell still helps his Sherwood Christian Academy soccer team win, encouraging his teammates to push on.
It's something he's very familiar with, pushing through grueling chemotherapy treatments at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
The 12-year-old is in a wheelchair, suffering from an extremely rare form of cancer that's centered at the base of his spine.
Russell credits his care team for keeping him cheerful both in the hospital and in his hometown. Some of his nurses traveled several hours to run in a fundraising 5K for him.
And for what keeps him fighting? His faith.
"I want to be an inspiration for other kids who are down," he explained. "The Lord has put me in this position for a reason and I'm still trying to figure it out. But I feel like He's given me this to be a light to other people."