Lamar Dawson signed with Syracuse as part of their 2014 class. However, he found out in December that he had a rare disease called aplastic anemia. That delayed his arrival in Central New York. The good news is that Dawson is on the road to recovery, and everything is looking positive for his future health-wise.
”I haven’t really needed a blood transfusion in a while,” Dawson said. “I haven’t needed to get one in over two months. Well, it’s been two months for one and three months for the other. Two months for the blood transfusion and three months for the platelets. So I’ve been doing pretty good.”
So well, in fact, that he says he is on the road to longer needed blood transfusions going forward in order to function as a healthy individual. He also resumed physical activity in order to try to get ready for joining Syracuse in January.
”Run, lift, run some more, I’ve been able to do everything, really,” Dawson said. “I just started a few weeks ago. But I’ve been able to do everything pretty good. No restrictions for me it’s just up to what I can take. It’s a slow process because you’re trying to build things up but you don’t want to overdo it. There aren’t really any restrictions on me.
”It feels really good because I’m starting to feel like I can build up muscle mass again. I can get back to being healthy again. Because when you’re sitting around and can’t work out, you don’t feel as good. Your body doesn’t feel as good when you aren’t able to get any exercise.”
Throughout the long process of diagnosing and treating his disease, the Syracuse coaching staff has stood by his side. Assuring him that his scholarship was still there regardless of his prognosis. Their main concern was Dawson recovering and becoming healthy once again.
With treatment seemingly working, the staff continues to stay in touch.
”They just check in to see how I’m doing,” Dawson said. “Coach Shafer talks to me and just to see how I’m feeling and if I’m working out and things like that. They sent me some drills to do so I’ve been working on that.
”They also found a group (EFT Sports Performance) up here for me to work out with when I’m ready. So I think I’m going to get rolling on that in September. I want to work out by myself for about a month and then I’ll get rolling on that.”
The upward trend of his recovery has given Dawson a more positive outlook on when he can be ready to play football again. Something he has dreamt about since his diagnosis.
”It’s a big relief,” Dawson said. “At first it wasn’t looking too good. I mean I knew I would be up there in January, but I wasn’t seeing great results. Now I’m starting to see them where I can think, ‘OK we’re getting back to myself.’
”Now I actually believe that I’ll be ready for January. Before I thought I might be ready and I’ll just redshirt. Now with the pace I’m going on, I should be 100% by then.”
Dawson plans on taking a class or two at a local community college in the fall.