The word “fortitude” is not used much these days.

As a sports adjective, it has largely be replaced by “toughness” and “hard” and other terms coaches and current athletes would recognize.

But “fortitude” is the old-school word that best describes Southern Boone Eagle Cleo Uhrig.

You can look it up:

“Fortitude – courage in pain or adversity.”

Uhrig, who has overcome Osteosarcoma, a pediatric bone cancer for the past two years, was on the court in a pair of Eagles varsity basketball games at the end of this season.

Let me repeat that, for those of you who did not quite digest it the first time: Eagles sophomore Cleo Uhrig – after dealing with life threatening cancer, six surgeries and what must have seemed like never-ending chemotherapy, needle pricks and doctors and nurses and….so much more – played in a pair of varsity basketball games for the Eagles a few weeks ago.

“It was just good to be out there on the court with my friends,” Uhrig told me.

I had heard she had played for a few minutes at Fulton, but when she got in the game in the final minute against Hallsville – well, there she was. I guess I had to see it to believe it.

Wearing her Eagles uniform, running with a pronounced limp due to her surgeries, she helped her teammates run out the clock in a win over the Indians.

~ Read the whole story in today’s Journal ~

By Bruce Wallace