UT player quits football to support fiancé - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

UT player quits football to support fiancé

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Ashley Barrett and Ben Pike Ashley Barrett and Ben Pike
TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

A University of Toledo football player has decided not to play during his last year of school, so he can spend more time with his fiancé.

"I know a lot of people are saying I'm sacrificing a lot of things, but I don't see it that way," said UT Defensive Lineman Ben Pike. "I'm gaining the love of my life. I get to spend every day with her and that's something I want to do. You know, be able to support her as she goes through this."

Pike is talking about his fiancé Ashley Barrett, a former UT basketball player.

Barrett was diagnosed with Leukemia last April. After some treatment, the cancer returned in January.

"Any time you have a loved one going through such a hard thing, you know, it's tough," Pike said. "We both know that we have to battle through it and she's fighting every day, as hard as she can. We know eventually we'll make it through and come out better on the other side."

Pike admires Barrett and is happy to put her above football.

"She's the most wonderful person I've ever met," he said. "Just the way she cares and loves for others, and just such a good soul…I mean, she's hands-down my hero."

Barrett's former teammates said the same.

"When I first met her, she had the biggest smile on her face," Riley McCormick said. "I don't think it ever left."

In honor of Barrett, her former team wears an "A" on their sneakers, and on Saturday they are honoring her at the UT "Pink Game" by wearing T-shirts that say, "Faith not Fear" on the back, a slogan started by Barrett.

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