Teen cancer-survivor honors his late father during UL Lafayette’s Spring football game

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) The Ragin Cajuns held their annual spring football game Saturday.  During the game a local high schooler had the opportunity to play on the field where his late father once played.
News Tens Emily Giangreco has the beautiful story.

“TIM COTTON: “It was just such a surreal moment to just see, for me to play in this number and just to refill his legacy.”

Timothy “T.J.” Cotton’s story is truly inspirational.

“In 2010 he lost his father. Exactly four years to the date of him losing his father, he started his first round of chemo. He was diagnosed with stage 3 hodgkins lymphoma. He went through heavy amounts of chemo but he’s in remission now”

His father,  Kenyon Cotton was a Ragin Cajun alum who is still Louisiana-Lafayette’s number 7 all-time leading rusher. During the Spring game on Saturday, Timothy wore his dad’s number and took the field with the Ragin Cajun football team.

“TIMOTHY COTTON: “I actually almost teared up because it was such a moment that I couldnt forget and that I wanted to do for so long. And I was filled with happiness I was filled with joy. I finally got to do what my father got to do I got to get a taste for what he got for an entire season and I just loved it so much.”

As he ran down the field and into the end zone,  the players charged after him and lifted him in the air, honoring the challenges that he’s faced throughout his life so far.

“It’s so surreal for him, he’s a huge fan of UL, he’s so excited, he’s so nervous, he’s so humble for this opportunity to be able to play for the team.

And both Timothy and his mother Kennethia know that his father would have been so proud to have seen this moment.

“TIMOTHY COTTON: “I hope what he would have told me is, i’m very proud of you. And, you know, because, my dad’s always been proud of me because he’s been proud of my brother he’s been proud about everything. He was just a very jolly guy and I’d pay anything just for him to see me play, that’s all I wish.”

“I think that his dad would say that’s my boy. Because he always said that, that’s my boy.”

Reporting in Lafayette, Emily Giangreco for KLFY News Ten.

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