Spokane Football Player Signs With Idaho Amidst Cancer Battle - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Spokane Football Player Signs With Idaho Amidst Cancer Battle

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Jace Malek signing his letter of intent to Idaho with the support of his coaches and family. (Photo: Gabe Cohen) Jace Malek signing his letter of intent to Idaho with the support of his coaches and family. (Photo: Gabe Cohen)
by Gabe Cohen

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Jace Malek dreamed of the day he would sign with the University of Idaho for years. But the West Valley fullback never expected to make that commitment official with his career in jeopardy.

Last week Malek was diagnosed with cancer after doctors found a tumor the size of a cantaloupe in his hip. His prognosis is uncertain, and he begins radiation treatment next week.

“I'm just doing everything I need to do,” Malek said.

Malek has hardly shed tears over the diagnosis. In his religious upbringing he came to believe all things happen for a reason, saying, “God giveth and God taketh away.”

Malek committed to the University of Idaho last Fall. When he found out he had cancer last week he called the Vandal coaches.

“I told them, ‘listen, I know you need to do what's best, and I realize that might not be keeping my scholarship.'”

The school's response blew him away.

“They said ‘you've been with us this whole time,'” Malek explained. “Idaho is not leaving your side.”

Wednesday, on national signing day, Malek officially committed to the University of Idaho, signing his papers among his family and high school coaches.

Malek's doctors told the 17-year-old there's a good chance he will never suit up for the University of Idaho, but if Malek believes that may just be God's test for him.

“A dream came true,” Malek said. “It's not what I imagined, but it's still there.”

His focus has turned to learning the game off the field, in case he loses playing career in his battle with the vicious disease.

"I'm going to go graduate college and become a famous college football coach," Malek said.

"And then they'll make a movie after me."

To help Jace fight his battle visit his GoFundMe page HERE: http://www.gofundme.com/la8c1w

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