Toledo defensive end Ben Pike may not have been an All American, but his name was on the radar of NFL scouts. That’s what makes this story even more amazing.
Cleveland.com is reporting that the Rockets star defensive end is walking away from football to take care of his Leukemia stricken fiancée’ Ashlee Barrett.
Pike and Barrett first learned that she was battling Leukemia in April of 2012. Barrett who was a Toledo basketball player, returned to her hometown of St. Louis to start teaching 2nd grade.
When Barrett found out that her Leukemia had returned, the decision for Pike to quit football was an easy one. The 22-year-old Pike had one more year of eligibility left, and most likely could have looked forward to a career in the NFL.
Instead the 22-year-old Pike, will graduate in May, and return to St. Louis. He still plans to marry Ashlee June 15, and will be by Barrett’s side each day through a bone marrow transplant and recovery from leukemia.
Pike’s mother spoke about his commendable act.
“I know in some people’s terms, he’s giving up things,” said Becky Pike, Ben’s mother. “But he’s really not giving up. He’s not giving up anything. He’s really fighting for life. And he’s just turned his forces to he’s going to win a battle for life instead of winning on the football field.”
Ben Pike also spoke about his fiancee’s fight.
“It’s a very, very helpless feeling because there’s nothing you can do that can make it better or go away,” Pike said. “The only thing you an do is be there for her 100 percent. The whole way she’s handled the first round, going through everything, the way she’s handled herself with such grace and beauty and a positive outlook on life. It’s been truly humbling. I can definitely say she’s my hero.”
This is an awesome and amazing story during a time when so much selfishness, and lack of love is evident in society. I hope Ben Pike gets all he wants out of life.