Community rallying behind Rossford teen battling cancerWritten by Holly Tuey | | email@example.com
Josh Maas is a senior at Rossford High School who has never sought special attention, according to his coach. Now that he has been diagnosed with cancer, he is getting attention from the entire community.
Josh was diagnosed with testicular cancer about a week after the football season ended.
“Looking back now, he must have played at least four games with cancer,” said Todd Drusback, Josh’s football coach. “He didn’t miss practice, didn’t miss a game, didn’t miss a play.”
Drusback said the offensive guard did say he was fatigued toward the end of the season, but he didn’t think anything of it.
“It’s been kind of surreal in a sense,” said Josh’s mother Christine. “You have an 18-year-old child and he’s been extraordinarily healthy all his life, other than sports injuries. It was kind of shocking in that regard.”
The cancer has spread to Josh’s liver and lungs. He started chemotherapy recently and will undergo four rounds of treatments, lasting approximately four months.
“Josh is a great kid,” Drusback said. “Very humble, caring, and he just goes about his business without having to have that persona of ‘Look at me.’ And because of that, his teammates obviously care very much about him.”
Drusback also said this has hit close to home for the team and others at Rossford High School. Just two years ago, another football player, Kerry Keller, lost his battle with cancer.
“Obviously, each situation is different, but Kerry inspired a lot of us,” Drusback said. “His motto was ‘Carry on,’ and Josh, I think, is taking that approach. He’s very positive and he’s a fighter. He’s been a fighter ever since I’ve coached him.”
Having just finished the MD program at the University of Toledo Medical Center in June, Christine said she looks at her son’s situation from a medical perspective as well as a maternal one. She said while his diagnosis isn’t great, it could be worse, and that’s how Josh looks at it, too.
“With the support of the community, family and friends, and also our faith, he’ll get through this,” she said.
With any situation like Josh’s, it can affect how the family functions. Drusback said both parents may not be able to continue working, and the bills will pile up. So friends of the family are holding a benefit dinner to help.
“We really appreciate everybody, not just in Rossford but in all of Northwest Ohio,” said Rodney Maas, Josh’s father. “The community’s come behind Josh full strength, really helping him out drastically with the support and everything else.”
Rodney said Drusback has been a huge support for Josh. He has been there for moral support and helped get tickets to the Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions game on Thanksgiving.
The dinner will take place from noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 15 at the IBEW Local Union 245, 705 Lime City Road, Rossford. Tickets are $10 for adults and children age 10 and older and $5 for children younger than 10. There will be a spaghetti dinner, silent auction and 50-50 raffle.
To show support for Josh or get involved with the benefit and raise awareness, visit the Facebook page “Maas Strong.”