FORT MYERS, Fla. Aplastic anemia, a rare blood disease, robbed wide receiver Antwan Dixon of his junior season at South Fort Myers High School.
But the 5-foot-8 wide receiver persevered, winning WINK Sports Player of the Year his senior year and having a stellar freshman season at Kent State University.
Then things recently took a turn for the worst, as his disease became out of control and threatened his life.
Dixon had to get a blood transfusion from his father and was hospitalized for two and a half months at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa.
“He saved my life,” Dixon said. “He’s my best friend.”
However, the life-saving transfusion caused him to lose 50 pounds and nine teeth. He also had to take 47 pills every day.
But Dixon is determined to get back on the gridiron.
“My doctor says I’m on track for a full recovery and I’ll be able to go back and start spring football this year,” he said.
Dixon has gained 33 of those 50 pounds and is continuing his regular workouts.
“It’s a blessing,” he said. “My coach is holding my scholarship. I’ll still have three years left when I go back. I’ll play my sophomore year at 21 years old, so I’m looking pretty good right now. I’ll still be able to get my full education.”