‘Christian Strong:’ Henrico man with rare form of cancer gets support from local kin

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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Meet Christian Cozens, 20. A shy young man who did his talking on the Douglas Freeman High School football and lacrosse fields. He was a freshman on the Randolph Macon football team last year when his world changed.

"It started with a lot of pain in my leg and I thought it was an injury from football," Christian said Friday night. "And then we got MRIs and they saw the mass in my hip."

The diagnosis was a rare and aggressive form of bone cancer called osteosarcoma.

Christian Cozens

Christian Cozens

Christian needed surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.

In less than a year it affected his spinal cord. In March he limped in for another MRI. By the time the scan was done, he was paralyzed from the waist down.

How do you deal with something like that?

Christian Cozens 2He said his sports training helped.

Christian’s family rallied of course. So did his football family at Macon.

And so did his Douglas Freeman family.

Friday night, a fund-raiser for sarcoma research (Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration) at the lacrosse game. The event was filled with lots of donations and lots of love.

Christian Cozens 3

Watch the video report and see his different families, blood kin, Macon and Freeman, stand for "Christian strong."

Christian is still getting chemo. At last check, it seemed to be working.

"You've just got to hang on to anything you can," he said. "Keep going, keep fighting."