CMN Miracle Kid: Dakota Carroll - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Children's Miracle Network 2008

CMN Miracle Kid: Dakota Carroll

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Last year, we introduced to you Dakota Carroll. He's battling stage two Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Right now, Dakota is preparing for a stem cell transplant, and he has support from his entire hometown of Snyder.

Earlier this month, 15-year-old Dakota Carroll checked out the new Wal-Mart Playroom at University Medical Center.

"You actually have a TV, a Wii game, an Xbox 360," Carroll said. 

Usually, Carroll would trade in the video games for sports. Over the years, he's been part of several different teams in Snyder.

"It's a lot better than laying in bed all day, I'll tell you, because it gets boring lying in bed all day," Carroll said. 

Carroll started a fifth round of chemotherapy, in preparation for a stem cell transplant, and hopefully a clean bill of health. His doctor, meanwhile, predicts success well beyond the hospital.

"He is about to undergo an autologous stem cell rescue, or transplant. The deal is that he's going to achieve a cure of his disease. Then, he's going to finish high school and go on to be a professional baseball player.  I'm going to retire from medicine, and I'm going to be his manager. We're going to sign a $30-million a year contract, and I'm going to take 15%, because I think I need about $4.5-million to live on," Doctor Anthony Cecalupo said. 

Teammates also believe, even while taking on a challenge of their own. At the same time Carroll underwent treatment in Lubbock, the Snyder Tigers took on Canyon in the high school baseball play-offs at Dan Law Field.

"I think everybody keeps him in their minds," teammate Kelton Garcia said. 

"Dakota was supposed to get to be here tonight. Of course he's doing his chemo treatments right now at UMC, and he's not feeling very well tonight, so he didn't get to make it. Bbut we're all thinking about him," friend and fundraiser Jodi Campbell said. 

"It's kind of like a lost brother," teammate Anthony Taylor said.

To honor Carroll, the team and fans wore his motto, "never take a knee".

"When your player gets hurt on the field, everyone takes a knee to wait to see what happens. Well, this is part of his cancer survival. We're not going to take a knee to see what happens. We're going to fight the cancer until it's gone," Campbell said. 

It's a message that's gone all around the Snyder community.

"In the beginning of our fundraising process, I ordered 100 "never take a knee" shirts, and I started selling them, and at this point we've sold close to 700 t-shirts," Campbell said. 

"It's not just the athletes that are wearing it; it's everybody," Snyder High School Principal Larry Scott said. 

"Not that you want anybody to be sick, but if anybody can handle the problems he's handled, it would be him," Coach Brad Hinton said. 

Schoolmates say Carroll's strength is an inspiration.

"It made us realize how lucky we are to be here, and we've been up here a couple times to visit him and he appreciates it, but I know he'd rather be out here with us," Taylor said. 

"Never give up when times are hard," Garcia said. 

Now, everyone in the Snyder community is sending well-wishes more than 200-miles east to Carroll in Forth Worth.

"I know he's going to overcome and win the battle that he has, because ever since he was little, every battle he's ever had, he's always won," Coach Les Rinehart said. 

"We all love you and we're pulling for you, and we know you're going to make it through this," Campbell said. 

Family members tell us Dakota could undergo the stem cell transplant by late next week.

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