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Millard West has 'green out' for senior with cancer

Posted at 10:46 PM, Sep 29, 2016

Millard West's high school dressed in all green for Thursday's football game against Omaha-Bryan to support a football player diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma.  

Senior Jack Aniello has played football all his life, alongside his twin brother Ben. That was until football practices started in August and Aniello went in for a physical after developing a reoccurring cough. That's when doctors discovered a few bumps on his chest.

"We made it through all summer and just as practice is starting, all this came about. So in an instance, we found out that this senior season we had ahead of us, it's a lot different now," says Jack's dad, Tony Aniello.

Jack had to stop playing football to focus on chemo treatments. 

Aniello says it's been a tough couple of months for his family, so when he saw the student body was going to dress in all green in honor of his son, he was overjoyed. 

"I read that they were going to wear green for Jack and as a parent, you're just so grateful that these many kids would get together to show Jack so much encouragement," says Tony.

In efforts to stand in solidarity with Jack and his fight against cancer, Millard West's student body section was dressed in all green, while "Let's go Jack!" was chanted through the stands.

"It's pretty cool. I didn't know I was this known around my school. It feels pretty cool. I'm proud of everyone and how supportive they were," says Jack. 

"Well it makes me feel good because the school supports my brother which I also feel is supporting my whole family," says Cole Aniello, Jack's younger brother who also plays on the Varsity football team. 
 
Aniello says the outpouring green support from Jack's coaches, teachers, friends and family has helped his family stay uplifted. 
 
"You don't realize how many peoples' lives you intersect with until something like this happens and you're hurting as a family and people alongside you and help pick you up and walk you through difficult times," adds Tony. 
 
Jack may not be playing on the field, but his dad says his love for football and his brothers keeps Jack in high spirits. 
 
"I watch him every time his brother comes off the field, he's there, he's clapping, he's shaking his hand, it's cool to see. So Jack has never lost his spirit, he's never lost hope."