Four Days with Jesse

Jesse Price is a member of the USC Trojan Family that is battling cancer. This weekend, Price got an up close and personal look at USC in action.

From Wednesday through Sunday, I hosted long time poster and USC Football enthusiast, "SoCalSugar"- Jesse Price at my home in North University Park. Price is a young 21-year old man who has battled cancer for the last fifteen months. He has undergone chemotherapy and seven surgeries since being diagnosed in July of 2006. Here is Jesse's story:

Over a year ago, 21-year old poster "SoCalSugar," Jesse Price noticed some abnormalities in his body and decided to visit his physician. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer and almost immediately started an aggressive therapy campaign, which included chemotherapy and seven surgeries over the following year.

In the fall of 2006, after Price began his therapy, he had posted on the message board, some of the details of his plight. Many posters expressed their concerns with him. Prolific poster, Michael ("Blem Blam") took immediate action to help Jesse with his situation. Blem Blam started a campaign to get Price on the sidelines for this week's USC-UW football game in Seattle.

When informed about Price's battle, the USC Football staff upped the ante. Dennis Slutak informed Blem Blam if he could get Price to a game in the Coliseum, the staff would provide him with sideline passes and he would experience USC Football up close. Blem Blam decided to purchase the tickets for Jesse's trip to Los Angeles.

Coach Carroll has long assisted those battling cancer as best as he can through the football program. Coach Carlisle is a cancer survivor and Carroll promised him he would beat the disease and be an asset to the USC program. Earlier this season, during an intrasquad scrimmage, some 60 youngsters with cancer from Children's Hospital were invited to "Trojan Walk" and to be on the field with the team before practice. These experiences are an inspiration to these children.

When Jesse arrived on Wednesday, his first stop was Howard Jones Field and football practice. At the end of practice, Coach Carroll met Jesse and the two shared an inspirational conversation. Consequently Carroll invited him to the WSU Trojan Walk and to be on the sidelines with the team. Price was told to meet with Slutak after practice to finalize his participation for the weekend.

During this meeting, Slutak invited Price to participate in the "Spirit Rally" after Friday's walk-through and to attend team meetings Friday night at a Los Angeles hotel.

On Friday, while escorting Price to the afternoon practice, Carlisle grabbed Price and brought him over to the players' sideline. He spent the practice time meeting with Carlisle, coaches and players. After the practice, Price was in the center of the Rally, amidst dancing coaches and players.

At the conclusion of the rally Price was invited to meetings at the hotel where the team would prepare for the following day's contest with the WSU Cougars. The meetings were an exciting event for Price. He sat in on the planning sessions for the special teams, offense, defense and the general team meeting. During this meeting, Carroll introduced Price and commented on how inspirational it is that Price battles this on daily basis.

On Saturday, Jesse Price had a full day. Starting in the morning and making rounds at various tailgate parties, Jesse met the team for Trojan Walk and entered the stadium alongside his favorite football team. He spent the day on the sidelines and in the stands, witnessing a great victory by the Trojans.

Jesse Price says his trip to Los Angeles was "cool" and full of surprises. He described being at practice and to spend time with the team "behind the scenes" as a "good time." Jesse says the experience was "just having fun." He described Carroll as open and easy to talk to. He enjoyed the hour in Slutak's office discussing football. Price is appreciative of the generosity of everyone involved.

Returning to Washington, Price has a great experience to hold on to, his experience with the Trojan Football family. He will face this battle on a daily basis, and Coach Carroll characterizes Price as brave and determined.

We send our best wishes to Jesse Price as he continues to win his battle against cancer. Price will attend the University of Washington game this weekend in Seattle.


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