A friend, brother and son. After a long fought battle with cancer, Layne Rodgers died Dec. 14, 2018.
Born and raised in Conroe, TX, Rodgers was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer, in September 2017. After many chemotherapy treatments, scans, an amputation, surgeries and tumor relapses, Rodgers’ story came to an end.
“I never knew someone close to me would go through that and it left me broken and depressed because I don’t have best friend anymore.” senior Colton Newsom said.
His funeral was held Dec. 20 at Mims Baptist Church. Friends and family gathered around one last time to say goodbye to who they saw as “The strongest person they knew.”
“It truly hurts to see someone you love so much go through the worst battle,” alumna Madison Rae said.
According to the American Cancer Society, about 5,000 teens aged 15 to 19 are diagnosed with cancer each year in the United States. About 600 teenagers die from cancer each year, which makes Cancer the fourth leading cause of death in this age group, behind accidents, suicide, and homicide.
“It’s tough because you read about it happening to kids on other teams, but I have never had a player been diagnosed,” baseball head coach Kyle Tidwell said. “Its hits you pretty hard, because you see how real it is, and how it shouldn’t happen to someone that young, that they should only being worrying about school and what their friends are up to.”
Rodgers played baseball at school and had the chance to meet Houston Astros star second baseman Jose Altuve. Rodgers’ hope was to one day play second base again.
“Layne loved playing baseball,” Tidwell said. “You could always see that, in how hard he worked at practice and listened to the coaches. He was always willing to help other players.”
With his presence out of the picture, a simple conversation with him is missed.
“Say something happens and sometimes i’ll be like ‘I’ll tell Layne’ and then realize I can’t,” Newsom said.
In an interview with KHOU11, Rodgers gave everybody a reason in why he was chosen to battle with cancer.
“I ask God every day, ‘Why me?” Layne told KHOU11 in November 2017. “He only knows – but he only gives the hardest battles to the toughest kids.”
Although Rodgers no longer lives, his legacy made impact.
“His legacy to me, is how hard he fought, and he was positive the times I had the pleasure to talk to him,” Tidwell said. “He will be remembered for his smile and being such a nice and willing to help anyone kind of person.”