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Avon teen sets sights on return to volleyball court after cancer

Vivian Eagle is winding down her chemotherapy treatments for osteosarcoma and can't wait to get back on the volleyball court.

AVON, Ind. — Vivian Eagle was ready to take on her sophomore spring, playing volleyball for Circle City VBC and doing high jump at Avon High School. 

But when a nagging pain in her left knee wouldn’t go away, her volleyball coaches encouraged her to go see a doctor.

After several visits, scans and tests, Eagle was diagnosed with osteosarcoma

“I heard 'cancer' and I was shocked, obviously,” Eagle recalled. “Then my dad asked, 'Is that hair loss?' And (the doctor) said, 'Yeah,' and I just started sobbing. Then all at once he was talking about how I was going to have no hair and I’m not going to be able to play my sports again.”

Credit: Vivian Eagle
Vivian Eagle

Certainly not what Eagle envisioned for herself at just 16 years old, but she said it’s given her a perspective she didn’t have before. 

“It’s like the hardest days of practice that I wanna go back to,” she said. “I kinda feel guilty going to practice and being like, 'When do I get to go home? When is practice over?' Because all I wanna do is go back. I wanna go back and run until I can’t breathe and go back and practice with my friends. You take it for granted.”

She’s also felt the love of her community and teammates—who now wear t-shirts and yellow ribbons on their shoes as a reminder that she’s not fighting alone.

Credit: Vivian Eagle
Vivian Eagle

“You don’t realize how many people care about you until something bad happens and then you’re like, 'Oh my gosh, I’ve got some good friends,'” Eagle said.

Week by week, Eagle is getting closer to her final chemotheraphy treatment. She has 29 rounds and is set to complete it this fall. After that, her goal is to get back on both feet competing again.

“Some of the doctors, they’ll tell me no and every time they tell me no I’m like, 'Watch me!'”

There is no height that is too high for Vivian Eagle.

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