Granger Wrestling Star Overcomes Childhood Cancer - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Granger Wrestling Star Overcomes Childhood Cancer

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GRANGER, Wash.--The celebrations continue in a community that's never had state champions before.

However, that all changed last weekend when Granger's High School Wrestling Team came out on top.

"It's one of those things where you just feel excited that all the hard work that you put in actually pays off," said Head Coach Ruben Saldivar.

Coaches said all 13 team members are exceptional athletes. but one boy stands apart.

"He's one of those kids you just wish you could clone him," said Saldivar. "I mean he has a big heart. He works hard, and he was all weekend long leading the team prayers for us. Just one of those things where the kids rally around him."

High School Senior Abidan Duarte not only helped his team clench the State Title, but also became first in the state individually. Looking at this athlete, you wouldn't know that at one point in time his life was hanging in the balance.

"My mom just came to take me to the doctors because I had some lymph nodes on my neck, and she said well we need to go check them out," said Duarte. "The doctor would tell her it was nothing, it's nothing."

It wasn't nothing. At 10-years-old, Duarte was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in the lymph nodes. Doctors gave him a 25 percent chance of survival. He said overcoming this battle turned him into the athlete he is today.

"It just tells me that I can do whatever they can, and I just push myself harder," said Duarte.

People who know the wrestling champion said the skies the limit for his future. But Duarte seems to want what many people do his age.

"College. Start my life, my own life," said Duarte.

There was a small parade for the wrestling champs Sunday afternoon. Afterwards, a barbeque fundraiser was held to raise money to buy state championship rings for the team.

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