ATHENS, Ga. — On Monday night in the CFP National Championship Game, you will see Kelee Ringo on defense for the Georgia Bulldogs. The redshirt freshman started in 11 games this season, but you might also know him because of his mom; Tralee Hale. She’s been very open with bulldog nation about her cancer journey so far.
“Whatever it is I have to do to see my son on the field and be great is what I’m going to do,” said Hale, who has always put her son above everything else. You may recognize her because of her strong social media presence.
She’s also in the process of completely relocating from Phoenix to Athens full time. Her son is a redshirt freshman defensive back for the Bulldogs and nothing made mom happier than moving to Athens to be with her son.
“As an empty nester, I wanted to follow behind my son. Besides that, I didn’t want to miss a football game. My intentions were to pack up and follow him, but COVID and cancer had a different story,” said Hale.
As a single Mom, Hale put off regular doctor visits until Kelee went off to college. When she finally went her doctor, she was told she had Stage 2 ductal carcinoma.
“That is a very aggressive form of cancer. I thought to myself 'that’s not cancer. Whatever that little mass is, it’s not cancer.' I was in complete denial,” she explained.
It has been a difficult journey, but with Kelee by her said, Hale has remained positive and vibrant with a passion to help other women.
“Joining with Bulldogs Battling Breast Cancer allowed me the platform to tell my story. Bulldogs Battling Breast Cancer actually raises money in the area and all of that money goes to the hospital and it allows women who are less fortunate to receive mammograms and care, and prevention and education,” Hale explained.
Currently, she is absolutely loving every second of getting to watch her son play in a Bulldogs uniform. She even got to see his first career interception against UAB earlier this season.
“It’s surreal. It’s literally unbelievable. I have watched this young man grow and develop. He is not just a defensive back, he’s not just a part of the secondary, he is a student of the game,” she said.
And there is no other place she would rather be than Athens, saying “the Bulldog nation has been such an incredible support system. They don’t even realize they have gotten me through some really tough weeks.”
Recently, Hale got great news about her cancer diagnosis. She’s now taking oral chemo and hopes to be in the final phase of this journey. As she continues to support Kelee, she is in Indianapolis ready to cheer on her son in the National Championship Monday night.