The Wells College men's soccer team paid tribute to 6-year-old Josyah Fagner by making him an honorary captain for the team's clash with Gallaudet University on Oct. 13 at the Wells College Turf Field.
Fagner was recognized for his courageous battle with cancer after his cancer recently went into remission after a two-year battle with pre B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Originally diagnosed in September 2017, his prognosis was in doubt after doctors found cancer cells in his bone marrow.
Inspired by the youth, Wells College went on to a 3-1 victory over Gallaudet. Shane Syms scored the game winner midway through the first half after taking Mekhi Edge-Wallace's shot off the crossbar and depositing the rebound. Syms' goal was sandwiched between tallies by Edge-Wallace and Justin Butler.
Fagner spent the entire day with the team. The Newark, N.Y. resident from Wayne County posed for a team photo, sat-in on the coach's pre-game speech, tossed the coin before the contest to determine which end the Express would defend and remained on the team's bench during the duration of the contest. He was joined in the festivities by his sibling, Jerimiah.
Pre B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia is an aggressive type of blood cancer in which too many B-cell lymphoblasts are found in the bone marrow and blood. It is the most common type of acute lymphoblastic leukemia that is often also referred to as B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia and precursor B-lymphoblastic leukemia.
Fagner finishes treatment officially in January 2020 and requested any donations considered to go to Holding onto Hope, Inc. in his name to help other families impacted by cancer in central and western N.Y.