MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s been a season of honors for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers’ Casey O’Brien, and this one came on the national stage.
O’Brien received the Disney Spirit Award Thursday evening for his fight against his own cancer. O’Brien has battled back from it four times.
Earlier this fall, he earned the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week honors, making him the sixth Gopher to be recognized by the conference this year.
O’Brien was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer, when he was a freshman in high school.
He had nine months of chemotherapy and reconstructive knee surgery that lasted more than eight hours after his freshman year of high school. He convinced his doctors to convert from quarterback to placeholder.
When chemotherapy kept him out of the game, he took up golf in the meantime.
His cancer has been in remission for over a year.