POWELL, OH (WCMH)–Walking across field at Olentangy Liberty on Senior Night brings Mara Hunter quite a smile. Compared to where her life was a year ago, she’s grateful just to be up and moving.
Mara says she would spend days at a time in bed. Her parents said she would sometimes need a walker just to get around the house.
It wasn’t a sports injury that left the normally active Mara struggling to get around. After not feeling well for months following her breakout sophomore season, she went to see her doctor. Just a few hours later, she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
As for returning to field hockey?
“I never thought that I was going to be able to play again,” Mara says. “I can honestly say I lost the hope of playing again.”
Then one day, after another round of chemotherapy, she went to the Liberty boys’ soccer game and missed a call in the process. It was Ohio State Field Hockey Coach Anne Wilkinson. She wanted Mara to be a Buckeye.
“That’s what pulled Mara through,” says her mother, Christina.
She’s still undergoing chemotherapy and will continue to do so through September, 2017, but she’s well enough to play again – and is leading playoff-bound Patriots team in goals.
It’s just one more achievement she can check off the list.