Cortland Finnegan encourages Clarksville teen with cancer - WKRN News 2

Cortland Finnegan encourages Clarksville teen with cancer

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CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. -

Former Tennessee Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan is back in Middle Tennessee Wednesday to encourage a high school student athlete who is fighting cancer.

"I got an email from his grandmother and just to see that he isn't scared. Just to have a support system and anything I can do, a simple smile, I knew he was a fan," said Finnegan, who plays now for the St. Louis Rams.

Jacob Shroyer is a student at Northeast High School in Clarksville. He was diagnosed with a cancer last summer and will undergo surgery next week to remove a benign tumor in his brain.

His mother, a fifth grade teacher at Kenwood Elementary School, said Shroyer is having doubts about following through with the surgery.

"He has wanted to play football since his freshman year of high school," said Jamie Shroyer. "He had a benign tumor in his shoulder and that put him off the football team for a year. Now he's having a second surgery to remove a benign tumor in his brain, so he's really hopeful he can get back on the team before his high school career is over."

Jacob, who is 16, admitted that football is one of his big concerns with his diagnosis and recovery.

"That was all I had as a past time and when I realized that it was the only thing I had to do. I was worried I would never be able to get back on the football team," Jacob said. "I may not even be able to play ever again."

Finnegan, who played for Tennessee from 2006 to 2011 is Shroyer's favorite NFL player. Finnegan brought along Kelsey Towns, a cancer survivor, to meet with Jacob and offer insight and encouragement as he prepares for surgery.

Towns said, "Just giving him comfort, just telling him that everything is going to be okay, that this is just a bump in the road. Surgery is scary, but when you wake up you're going to be the same person. You're not going to change."

Jacob told News 2 after meeting with Towns and Finnegan, he's even more motivated to get back on the football field.

"It gives me a thought that I still have a chance to play," Shroyer said.

Shrover will undergo surgery at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital Monday.

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