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Abilene student plays through brain tumor

January 31, 2013|By Samantha Anderson

ABILENE, Kan. — Basketball means different things to different people. For some, it's a game, for others it's a sport. But for Carly Gassman it is a way to get through a difficult time.

"It's nice to have goals, especially when you go through something like this," the senior at Abilene High school said.

Last spring, Gassman was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

"When I found out, I was like numb," Gassman said. "I didn't think anything. I wasn't freaking out because I didn't really know what was going on."

"The doctor came out and get us and it was bad," Gassman's mother, Susie Gassman said. "I just thought maybe it won't be real."

Since then Gassman has been trying to balance school, sports, treatment and surgeries.

" I would go to school and have my core classes in the morning," Gassman said. "Then go to Kansas City and do my homework on the way there or on the way back. Go to practice and do homework if I had it after."

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So far Carly has had three surgeries, radiation treatment and chemotherapy, but she is still trying to make the most of her senior year.

"It's my last chance to play because I am not going to play next year, obviously," Gassman said. "I had a good year last year and I just wanted to keep it going this year."

Carly did have to miss some of the basketball season, but she scored thirteen points in her first game back this winter.

"The first night she step foot on a basketball court, it just about brought tears to your eyes," her father, Randy Gassman said. "The fans gave her a standing ovation."

For now, Gassman, like most kids her age, is just trying to enjoy her last year of high school.

"You have not seen Carly through this whole process with anything but a smile on her face, Abilene coach Janelle Geist said.

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