Former Griz Football Player Battles Cancer - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Former Griz Football Player Battles Cancer

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MISSOULA -

A former Griz football player prepares to take on different kind of physical challenge, after learning he has cancer.

Former linebacker Cole Lockwood got his diagnosis just last week and is now recovering from surgery.

Lockwood said he'd been experiencing severe back pain for several months, when he found a lump in his stomach.

His doctors thought it was a large hernia, but after two ultrasounds and a CT scan, they discovered something much worse.

"What they found was the lump is about the size of a cantaloupe," he said.

On Monday, surgeons removed Lockwood's right testicle, where the cancer had spread.

"I either have lymphoma that has spread or testicular cancer that has spread."

But, Lockwood is taking it all in stride, and said he's even pumped to go through chemotherapy.

"I'm ready to lose my hair and get really sick because that's what it's going to take," Lockwood said.

Lockwood said his mom beat ovarian cancer just two years ago.

"So, she called me this morning and told me it's my turn to walk the walk, so I'm going to be fighting it for her."

And more support has poured in from friends, former teammates and coaches, and even some Bobcat players.

"Alexa and I… cannot even begin to express how thankful we are."

Alexa added, "To see how many people love us and support us and want to fight with us just makes us want to fight even harder and even stronger."

Lockwood said learning his own diagnosis has only made he and Alexa's bond stronger.

"And really just fall in love with each other all over again, all the time," he said.

Lockwood said with the army of support he has behind him, he'll face cancer head-on.

"I'm not afraid to die, I'm just not ready yet, I want to spend a long time with Alexa and I want to be a good dad someday."

If you would like to make a donation to the Lockwoods, click here. There is also an account set up for Cole called the "Cole Lockwood Benefit Account" at Gateway Community Federal Credit Union.

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