Tyler Potts of Hopewell is the Third Recipient of a John Challis Courage For Life Sporting Experience
Tyler Potts was an outgoing eighteen year old who loved playing baseball, basketball, and football when a cancer diagnosis changed his life forever. He was attending a football camp at Akron University when he started feeling sick. A few weeks later, while at another football camp at the University of Pittsburgh, Tyler fractured his pelvis. Blood work was done, and his doctors discovered he had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Tyler’s main concern after finding out he had cancer wasn’t about dying. He worried about whether or not he would ever play sports again. Although he missed out on playing his senior year on his high school team, he stayed with them every step of the way, driving to practices right after getting chemo treatments and attending every game he possibly could.
Hopewell had its first undefeated season that year, and played in the WPIAL championship game at Heinz field. Although Tyler couldn’t be on the field with his team, his spirit and courage in the face of such adversity were an inspiration to his teammates and his fellow students.
The John Challis Courage for Life Sporting Experiences were created for students like Tyler, high school athletes facing the toughest battle of their lives. As the third recipient of the award, Tyler chose to attend a Pittsburgh Penguins game.
Tyler traveled to Pittsburgh in a limo with his mother, father, twin brother and sister. After stopping by their hotel, they were taken to Mellon Arena and escorted to Sidney Crosby’s private box. Tyler received a signed Jordan Stahl jersey and was visited by the Penguins mascot. After the game, Tyler and his family were taken to the locker area in order to meet Jordan Stahl, and then they had dinner at Jerome Bettis’ Grille 36 as special guests. The next day, after sightseeing and dinner in Pittsburgh, Tyler and his family enjoyed a limo ride home.
Cancer took a lot away from Tyler. He couldn’t play the sports he was passionate about. He had to put his plans to attend his beloved Notre Dame University on hold. He missed a lot of school and spent his senior year fighting for his life. But through it all, Tyler faced his challenges with dignity. That is what Courage for Life is all about, giving students like Tyler something positive to look forward to, and memories to last a lifetime, because Courage + Believe = Life.