KAMR – MyHighPlains.com

Damon Strong

Damon Sooter is a junior at San Jacinto Christian Academy. Growing up Damon loved sports, playing as many as he could.

It was during his sophomore season at San Jacinto, that he started to notice a pain in his right leg above his knee.

“Throughout the practices, my knee would just get worse and worse and it got to the point where it was hard to stand up on it. So I finally decided it was time to go to the doctor.” Sooter said. 

That decision to go to the doctor was a good one, as he had been diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. Damon found out that he had cancer on his 16th birthday.

A few weeks later his friends wanted to share their support for Damon, and they did that in a unique way. 

“I shaved my head on June 15, and that is when all my friends decided they were going to shave their heads too, and told them not to, but still they insisted they were coming over and doing it,” said Damon. 

That act of kindness caught the attention of Travis Schulte the Canyon boys basketball coach, and the father of Tatum Schulte, who past away just over a year ago with the same type of rare bone cancer that Damon had.

“When Damon’s friends shaved their heads for him, we were like that is straight running Tatum Tough right there. We aren’t worried about the way we look, we aren’t worried about what people think. We are all in on this, we are all in on supporting one another, so that is what really caught our eye,” said Schulte.

“When the Schultes found out, they took us all out to a fancy dinner and ordered the wristbands, and they have helped us out a lot and they answered a lot of questions. Tatum went through it. It was great meeting with them,” said Sooter.

“Until you are in that battle, you don’t really realize everything that goes along with it, I don’t think, and I think that is why it is good to talk to one another and to say hey these are some things we learned along the way,” said Schulte. “And like I said, he exhibits that Tatum Tough spirit, and he likes to fight it looks like, and that’s what it takes. You have to be a fighter all day every day.” 

That fighting spirit is certainly something Damon has exhibited, and he credits his upbringing for helping him in the situation.

“My family never raised me to do that, to just feel sorry for myself. I don’t think I’ve ever dropped down into that, why did this happen to me, and faith has a lot to do with it. If you stay strong in those moments you are weak, it kind of helps everything and makes everything go smoother, and keep your attitude up and positivity going.”

If all goes according to plan, Damon will finish up chemotherapy January 1, 2019. 

If you would like to send letters or gifts to Damon, the family has a P.O. Box at:  

P.O. Bx 52578
Amarillo, TX