Bobby Colantonio Won Nationals With A Tumor On Femur, Has Cancer

This story was originally published on FloTrack

Bobby Colantonio felt like he was underperforming his entire senior year of high school because of a knee problem, though he was still very, very good. He won the weight throw at indoor nationals, the hammer throw at outdoor nationals, took fourth at the IAAF World U-20 Championships, and set a PR of 251-2 that made him the fifth best hammer thrower in U.S. high school history.

He told the  Providence Journal  that he thought he was just injured all season, saying, "The muscles are being pushed apart. Tendons are being shifted. By you realigning them it's going to feel better, but in the grand scheme of things there's something under there grinding on you."

When he went to start his freshman year at the University of Alabama in August, he was examined by the athletic department physician, according to DyeStat. That doctor ordered an x-ray that turned up a tumor on Colantonio's femur. 

"I knew what the words meant, but my mind was so scrambled," Colantonio recalled, according to the Providence Journal. "I couldn't think straight enough to distinguish what he was saying."

It was devastating news for the young athlete, who had just finished his high school career as a three-time state champion, a New Balance Nationals champion, and as a two-time finalist at the IAAF World Junior Championships. 

Colantonio was recently diagnosed with metastatic Ewing's sarcoma, a rare disease in which cancer cells attack bones or soft tissue. As a right-handed hammer thrower, Colantonio was constantly putting pressure on his left knee and hip. A biopsy at Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence, RI, showed that the rare cancer had already spread to his hip and left four spots on his lungs. His left femur was almost completely compromised from untold months of competing on it with a tumor.

"I do not know how you made it," Dr. Richard Terek told Colantonio. "That femur, the fact that it didn't snap, is a miracle in itself."

Colantonio returned home to Rhode Island where he began chemotherapy at Hasbro's Edwin Forman Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Center. He will undergo at least nine months of treatment depending on how his body responds.  "Everything is temporary," Colantonio said. "The days you feel good are temporary. The days you feel crappy are temporary. The stuff you're getting is temporary. The cancer is temporary, because it's leaving."

Colantonio's uncle, David Allyn, recently announced that he is hosting a charity golf tournament at a local country club to help raise funds for his nephew's medical treatment. 

"I still wanna fulfill my dream of competing in the Olympics one day and represent Alabama Crimson Tide, as they are part of me now and I am part of them, and I'm sure as hell not letting cancer get in the way of it," Colantonio wrote on Instagram.