High-school rivals unite to support CovCath student battling cancer

‘It lifts me back up.’
Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 11:07 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Two of the biggest high-school rivals in the Tri-State came together Tuesday night to support one of their own battling cancer.

Covington Catholic High School senior Thomas Burns was diagnosed last October with Ewing Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.

“I didn’t know how to feel, because it was happening to me,” Burns said. “You don’t expect it to happened to yourself.”

On Tuesday night, CovCath and long-time rival Highlands High School played a basketball game where Burns and his family were honored at halftime.

Students wore “TB Strong” shirts designed by one of Burns’ friends. Those who bought a shirt were admitted to the game for free.

They hoped to sell 200 shirts. They had sold 900 with days to go before the game, and the gym only holds 1,100 people.

The game had to be moved to Holmes High School.

Half the proceeds raised from the shirts went towards helping Burns with his medical bills. The other half will be donated to other families with children facing cancer.

“It lifts me back up,” Burns said. “Obviously, I’ll have my down days, but with all these people behind me and supporting me and texting me every day, it really does make me feel better.”

Burns’ tumors are shrinking, according to his parents. He begins radiation therapy on Wednesday. The hope is he will be able to wrap up treatment by the end of Spring.

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