Former CHHS football player visits current CHMS student at Children’s

Published 8:19 pm Thursday, August 28, 2014

Cancer has a way of bringing people together – people who probably never would have met otherwise.

Cory Porter, an eighth-grader at Charles Henderson Middle School, is undergoing cancer treatments at Children’s of Alabama in Birmingham. He recently had a surprise visit from Hunter Kennedy, an offensive lineman for UAB and a couple of his teammates.

Kennedy, a four-year letterman at Charles Henderson High School, is now a freshman at UAB.

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Following Kennedy’s leadership, players from the UAB football team have visited Cory on two other occasions.

“That made me feel happy,” Cory said. “They were cool. And, to me, they were real big. I had my picture taken with some of the players and all of the players signed a football for me. That made me feel good, too.”

Troy University and UAB will kick off the 2014 football season Saturday at Legion Field in Birmingham Saturday.

For Cory, deciding which team to pull for will be a tough decision.

His hopes are that both teams will play their best, but he hopes Troy will get the win.

“That’s my home team,” he said.

Cory will have the continued support of the UAB football team as well as his “home team” and his hometown as he battles acute myeloid leukemia.

“It’s cancer of the blood,” Cory said. “The doctors said I’ll get to go back to school next year. I feel better now. I feel good.”

Cory’s mom, Theresa Porter, said Cory’s has had an uphill battle since Aug. 2, when he “passed out” at Walmart in Dothan.

“Cory was with his dad and he just passed out,” she said. “He is border-line diabetic so his dad thought it was that. Some ladies were in the checkout line with them and one of them gave Cory an orange and he got to feeling better.”

But, the next morning, Cory began to run a high fever and was taken to Troy Regional Medical Center.

“His white blood count was way too high, and they sent him by ambulance to Birmingham,” Porter said. “At Children’s they made the diagnosis real quick. The doctor said he was 90 percent sure it was leukemia but we wouldn’t know for sure until Monday.”

On Monday Porter said, “We knew.”

“Everything that could go wrong went wrong for Cory,” she said. “There were problems with his heart, his kidneys, his liver and his lungs. He was on a ventilator. They worked with him for 48 hours straight before they got him stabilized. One shift would come on and another would go off but they never left him. They did great work. We’ll never forget how hard they worked to save Cory.”

For Cory Porter, the 2014 school year didn’t start as he had planned.

Cory had hopes of playing football for the first time. His battles were going to be on the gridiron. Now, he has a much tougher battle but he said he’s up for it.

If Cory’s fever is normal tomorrow, he might be able to come home for the Labor Day weekend, but he’ll have to be back at Children’s on Tuesday.

“He’s looking forward to coming home and I hope we can get there,” Porter said. “But we’ll do what we have to do.”

Cory would appreciate cards from home. His mailing address is Cory Porter, Room 807, QB, Children’s of Alabama, 1600 7th Ave. South, Birmingham, AL 35233.