One step at a time: Teen not allowing prosthetic leg to keep him off the football field

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HUDSON, Ohio – The high school football season is back in Northeast Ohio and for one student-athlete the season couldn’t get here soon enough.

Andrew McCaffrey, 16, is gearing up and strapping on his helmet.

He’s excited to be playing football for Western Reserve Academy.

“It was a great feeling to be back on the field and be with the team,” McCaffrey said.

Andrew has been sidelined for the past six years, unable to play football, basketball, baseball or soccer.

“In the middle of basketball season I started to have knee pain,” said McCaffrey.

The knee pain turned out to be something much worse.

“I had osteosarcoma, which was a rare form of childhood bone cancer,” said the Pioneers wide receiver.

Andrew was just 10 when he was diagnosed.  He was told he would never play sports again.

“The minute I heard cancer it immediately filled my mind with fear,” said McCaffrey.

Andrew underwent three surgeries, the last one taking place in 2012 where McCaffrey decided to have his right leg amputated.  He’s now running again for the first time since 4th grade.

“It wasn’t pretty. My form wasn’t great. It was one of the best feelings in the world,” he said.

Today, Andrew is pain-free and playing wide receiver for the Pioneers.  At 5’9” and 155 pounds, he’s not letting anything get in his way.

“To play and score, that would be really be a big deal for me,” said McCaffrey.

He’s well on his way to achieving that and he’s doing it one step at a time.

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