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Midland High football player diagnosed with Leukemia

Senior Linebacker Le'Brian Perez was faced with the news late August.

MIDLAND, Texas — Senior Midland High Linebacker Le'Brian Perez, nicknamed LB like the position he plays, was just another football player putting in work this summer, trying to get better for his final year of football.

However towards the end of the summer, on August 19th, Perez was starting to have leg injuries, assumed to be football related.

“So LB had a- was having some knee issues late in during summer workouts, and they were hammering him he's having a good summer. He was here every day. And then he had sort of had some knee issues and so he goes to get an MRI." Varsity Coach Thad Fortune recalls the event. "You know, we're thinking just kind of normal. Guys get MRIs all the time when you're trying to see what's going on in there. The MRI came back clean. There was nothing that gave him any concern.”

Known to be jovial and outgoing, something just wasn’t right, he wasn't himself. Coach noticed he was getting more and more sick, this has become more than just football related injuries.

“He just didn't look right. You could tell he didn't feel good," Fortune said.

Unfortunately, the issues weren’t football related, and the results would change his life. Le'Brian was diagnosed with leukemia.

Le'Brian is a AB Honor student as a senior at Midland High while also playing on the team. Football is his passion and loves spending time with his family and at his church. 

LB is known for making everyone laugh and being a nice presence to be around.

“[...] He's a funny dude," childhood and current friend Garrett DeLaGarza describes him. "He gets along with everybody. He always puts smiles on everyone's face.”

LB played 5 games last year and had 5 total tackles, but according to Coach Fortune, his impact is more off the field, then on the field.

“I've told him on several occasions that his value was never dependent on him as a football player anyway. So his value is dependent on on who is a young man.”

A natural leader, his younger teammates look up to him.

“[...] he does a lot of great things for the football team, a leader by example. But he's not afraid to speak when he needs to," Fortune observed. "I think one thing that sticks out about LB is he's a tremendous encourager, as I've seen him several times, really pull kids aside and get in their ear and give them give them some words of encouragement.”

LB has two brothers who played on the football team as well. His older brother Brian’Zai was a senior wide receiver last year who recorded 3 TDs and 192 total yards. His younger brother, Brylee is a Junior RB on the team this year, and had a monster game in Week 1 recording 155 YDs and 3 TDs. 

Incredibly close, Brylee is being very strong with his brother going through this. He was even sporting a towel on his uniform in week 1 that says “LB 4 Life”. According to Coach, Brylee has shown incredible grace dealing with this situation, and focusing on what he needs to focus on despite his situation.

The community has banded with LB, with them doing and planning several ways to honor him. Within the next coming weeks, there's plenty of plans to honor the senior linebacker.

LB is currently undergoing chemo treatment in Dallas and is doing very well.

“Because of our faith in God and the wonderful doctors and nurses and the support system we have, we know that he is going to come out of this journey stronger and with such a huge testament of the blessings of God,” his mother Amanda Jackson said. 

His treatment will last 28 days and will come home once a week for 8 months. He will follow that off with oral chemo.

If you’re interested in helping raising money, you can contact the Midland High booster club by emailing Heidi Krueger at heidijlange22@yahoo.com.

Midland High won again Friday night against Lubbock Coronado 27-21 at Astound Stadium. Brylee scored another touchdown, this time wearing Le’Brian’s #4, his number being on the field where it should be.

The community knows that Le'Brian will win this, because that’s just his nature: winning.

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