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Persistence Pays

Law student Kayleigh Ellison (left), who last played competitive soccer in high school, was diagnosed with and treated for a malignant brain tumor as an undergraduate at Seton Hall. Now, she’s back on the soccer field again, playing for Division III Massachusetts Dartmouth. University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, photo

“Soccer teaches me to persevere. Life does not always go as planned, and soccer is my way of comprehending that and learning how to persist. It teaches me that there is only so much in our control. Yes, I can control the ball, and yes, I can control how I strike, but I cannot control the goalie. I cannot control the elements or the unexpected pains that might occur to cause complications. But I can control how I react, how I use my strength to overcome obstacles and become triumphant. I can control my will to be strong, brave and fearless. I love this sport, and I will not stop playing until they kick me out.”

Kayleigh Ellison, Massachusetts Dartmouth law student and soccer player and a brain cancer survivor

About Champion

Champion magazine goes behind the headlines and beyond the scoreboards to celebrate the unique connection between Americans and college sports. Champion is published by the NCAA.