Thirteen is a tough age under the best of circumstances. In October 2015, Kenton Doust–an avid fan of Whitecaps FC soccer–was facing all the normal trials of a typical young teen. Suddenly, the unthinkable occurred. After a month of relentless unexplained illness, his doctors saw signs of a brain tumor. A CT scan confirmed the worst: Not one, but three brain tumors.
There was no time to consider his new circumstances, as just four days later he was whisked into brain cancer surgery. The tumors were successfully removed, and Kenton began a grueling four-month course of chemotherapy. He spent many days too weak to get out of bed. In addition to the medicine, his daily routine was interrupted by radiation treatments.
Whitecaps FC Midfielder Russell Teibert heard about Kenton’s battle with cancer and that he was passionate about the Whitecaps. He decided to do something special for his biggest fan, sending words of encouragement–along with a jersey and autographed cleats–as a Christmas gift. In January, Teibert paid Kenton a visit in the hospital, and the two became fast friends. Tiebert said, “We instantly just hit it off playing FIFA. For being in such a difficult position, the positive attitude he had, the smile on his face, it made me feel happy.”
Kenton’s stamina and courage were rewarded when, on May 19, 2016, he was declared cancer-free–and Teibert was there to share the moment with him. Afterwards, Kenton posted an Instagram photo with a caption that showed the power of this friendship:
I love this man with all my heart. He has helped me so much throughout my journey with cancer. He really helped me whilst I was in some of my worst times at the hospital. He has done so much for my family and we honestly cannot thank you enough. This photo was taken after I had beat cancer he was there to hear my results he was always there for me. I love you man!
In December of 2016, Kenton was honored as a member of the virtual team, when he was included in EA Sports’ FIFA 17 video game. He has his own customized FIFA 17 legend card, with an impressive 95 rating, and he has been mentioned in The SPORT Bible–a sign that he has truly made an impression on the team.
When asked about his experience, Kenton said, “They make me feel special, they encouraged me to keep fighting… I just feel loved. I feel a part of the team, a part of the community that they have. It’s indescribable.”