FARRAGUT, Tenn. (WATE) — A community in Farragut comes to together encourage and support a young athlete who is battling brain tumors that are sometimes considered ‘unresectable.’

AJ Cucksey has loved football since an early age. At age four, when he was diagnosed with inoperable brain tumors, his love for the sport grew more.

Soon, he wanted the chance to make it past the sidelines and onto the field. AJ wanted to play football.

“Last year was the first year that AJ decided he wanted to play football,” said Robbie Jacobs, Farragut Middle School mac league commissioner and 7th grade coach. “When we first got the call, it was myself and another commissioner last year and we thought to ourselves, there’s no way this kid is going to be able to play football. He had multiple brain tumors, he had the shunt behind his ear, we didn’t know how that would work with a helmet.”

“At that point in time, we didn’t have any doctors release, and we thought it was going to be really tough, so we’re thinking how are we going to tell this kid he can’t play, we don’t want to take his dream away.”

Robbie Jacobs

Just like any challenges brought on by the opposing team, AJ tackled them and as a 6th grader. He’s now a captain and playing for the Farragut JV 7th grade team.

“We actually got him in a comfortable position, we explained everything to his teammates, and from day one, strong kid, positive energy, truly meant to be a football player,” Jacobs said.

His spot on the field is one that he earned, and now as he works to keep his position. He’s also working to continue winning in his battle against his inoperable brain tumors after his oncologist recently found two of the tumors have grown.

His teammates and the community are standing by his side and supporting his love for football as his family is unsure how many more games he’ll be able to play before starting treatment.

“Thinking about AJ and how he is on the field, and just the way he is as a teammate, it really chokes you up as a coach,” Jacobs said. “Again we’re not here to take anything away from him and I think that’s what we have to remember. It’s an extremely emotional day, but we go out there, we fight and we get a win for AJ today.”

Win or lose, AJ will never give up on or off the field. His coach described him as a positive influence and it’s a trait the team has learned through him. Now they are using that same positivity to cheer on AJ.

“I think today is extra special for him more so than anything because he gets to execute the game he never thought he could play. I’m happy for him,” Jacobs said.

Follow along AJ’s journey on the Prayers for AJ Cucksey Facebook page.