Cancer survivor makes club baseball


Rebecca Sykes, Sports Editor

CSUSM Freshman George Terris recently made the club baseball team. However one of his biggest victories has been defeating cancer in November of 2012.


Two weeks before Terris’s 14th birthday, doctors diagnosed him with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer. Initially, Terris did not know what to make of it.


“You heard of cancer around but you don’t know what exactly it is. But once my parents and the doctors started explaining it to me, it just got along in my head. Didn’t expect it but once I knew what it was, I knew I had to get through it.”


Steven Terris, George’s older brother, knew he had to be strong during his brothers fight against cancer.


“It was really hard on me because we are only 16 months apart, so we are really close. I made sure not to show my emotions … it was always important to stay positive.”


The cancer had been found in his left fibular, the nerve that controls the left ankle. Terris went into chemotherapy shortly after being diagnosed.


“I had periodic chemotherapy sessions out of eight and then I had multiple surgeries that took out the left fibula and the tumor,” Terris said. “Then after those eight chemotherapy sessions, I had a stem cell transplant with my own stem cells to take over the bad cancer cells.”


With the help of loved ones, Terris did not fight the cancer on his own. His friends, family, church and the Encinitas community came together to start a fundraiser for Terris. Terris’s uncle embroidered and made shirts for the fundraiser with the slogan, “Live STRONG, Be STRONG, George STRONG.”


“Those three [sayings] together got me motivated for the battle I fought.” said Terris.“I thank God for guiding me to survive and being there. My family and friends ‒ I couldn’t have done without them, keeping a smile on my face, they are always there. So I felt like I might have been the one going through the cancer but I didn’t go through with it by myself.”


On Nov. 20, 2012, Terris became cancer free.


Four years later, Terris graduated from La Costa Canyon High School and enrolled at CSUSM and on Sept. 13, 2016, he made CSUSM’s Club Baseball team.


“I don’t know what I would do without club baseball,” said Terris.“It is a great opportunity for me because I still want to play the sport I love.”


At the age of six, Terris began playing baseball. However, in the eighth grade he had to stop playing due to his cancer. When he recovered, he played for fun with his brother and friends.


“Head Baseball Coach Machado and the team at La Costa Canyon also let me train with them towards the tail end of their seasons due to them knowing I wanted to get back into baseball,” said Terris.


As a new member of the club baseball team, Terris already feels at home and welcomed.


“The team definitely has chemistry,” said Terris.“The returners are being really cool with bringing the new guys ‒ freshmen ‒ into the club. This club is definitely making us feel like we have been on the team for years.”


Club Baseball President Chris Benson said Terris brings a lot to the club with his personality and hard work.


“He has a drive and a passion like no other and even though he might not be the best on the field, he is the hardest working guy we have out there,” said Benson. “Every time he steps in between the lines he is always asking for some type of critique . . . he is always looking to get better. He is a good person.”


Benson also said, “I look forward to spending some more time with him with some more team bonding so we get to know a little more about him and figure out everything he has gone through. I think that brings teams closer together ‒ when you get to see the personal story behind the players.”


Students can look forward to watching Terris and the baseball club compete at CSUSM Nov. 5 and Nov. 6 against USC.