Glenn Caruso, the head football coach at the University of St. Thomas, was diagnosed with leukemia at age four and was told he’d be dead in a year. In an interview with Midco Sports Magazine, the now 47-year-old said he credits his dad’s determination to not give up as to what saved his life.
An example is how when he went to kindergarten his dad placed him in a football helmet. The head gear would protect him in case of a fall that could cause hematoma and take his life.
For two years, “I wore that football helmet every single day to school, at recess, after school. My dad firmly believed my first love for football came because I had to wear that helmet.”
His family faced other obstacles life threw their way; to be able to share their stories they believe is a blessing that could help others.
“Everything that has been a battle for us has been what’s made us who we are,” Caruso said. “Doesn’t matter whether it’s a leukemia diagnosis in 1978; doesn’t matter if it is getting kicked out of a league in 2019; doesn't matter what it is; it’s always the adversity and I believe – we believe – how we face it is what will determine our fate.”
The University of St. Thomas football team is just starting its foray into Division I athletics.