MORGANTOWN, W.Va.—West Virginia University running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider and his family has spent the last seven months battling a different battle away from the football field.
Last summer coach Seider’s son Jaden noticed a lump in his neck. In January of this year, doctors removed two tumors and informed the Seider family that Jaden had cancer, Hodgkin nodular lymphoma.
On Thursday morning Ja’Juan tweeted that his son won the battle.
— JaJuan Seider (@coachseider) July 30, 2015
The long, grueling battle of tests and chemotherapy treatments are over for now. Jaden beat cancer.
The Seiders first noticed something was wrong with Jaden last summer while on vacation. He told his mom of a lump on his neck. Doctors told them to monitor it.
As the lump grew, tests were still inconclusive. After the Liberty Bowl in December the bump was the size of a golf ball. On Jaden’s 14th birthday, he underwent surgery for what turned out to be cancer.
No one wants to hear those words, especially the parents of a child.
But the cancer brought the Seiders closer as a family. It brought Ja’Juan closer to his Mountaineer family. Everyone drew strength from Jaden.
“You always worry as a parent and think about this and this and that, but I watched a strong kid, stronger than I could ever be, go through this,” Seider told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. “Not one time have I seen a sign of him wavering or thinking that he can’t do this. He’s been as normal as you can be. I’m telling you, it’s the most courageous thing I’ve ever seen.”
The Seiders had an outpouring of love and support from friends, family, the football team and Mountaineer nation.
#SeiderStrong was something the family had been saying over the years as a term of encouragement. It became a social media hash tag. It was put on bracelets and shirts.
Jaden and the Seiders were never alone on the long journey.
“The outpouring of love and support has been incredible,” Jaden’s mother, Brandi Seider, told the Charleston Daily Mail at the time. “Mountaineer Nation, everybody from Marshall, the cards and thoughtful messages we receive every single day. Everyone asks, ‘What can we do?’
The Seiders plan to continue to raise awareness for cancer and give back to the hospital that helped Jaden win his battle.
And now Jaden can return to the life of a normal 14-year-old.