Former USAF Academy football star given just a few months to live

Carson Bird wraps up Colorado State running back Gartrell Johnson as safety Bobby Giannini close in during Air Force's 45-21 victory over the Rams Oct. 13 in Fort Collins in 2007. (U.S. Air Force photo/John Van Winkle)

Former Air Force Academy football player Carson Bird has been given only a few months more to live. The former cornerback now only has use of 20 % of his overall lung capacity.

Bird’s troubles started back in August of 2014. His hip was hurting after a flag football game and he started limping. For a while doctors thought he suffered from bone death and in September 2015, he underwent hip replacement surgery. The surgeon became alarmed when he saw that the head of his femur was “squishy.”

Two weeks later he received the cancer diagnosis. Doctors said he had chondrosarcoma– a rare form of bone cancer.

Bird underwent two surgeries last October, which appeared successful, and he was told he was cancer-free. But doctors later found that the cancer remained in his hip and lungs. Over the summer his leg was amputated in the ongoing struggle with the disease.

News 13 reported about Bird’s blog on Wednesday, which read: “It was with great heartache that she [his oncologist] told us that there aren’t any other treatment options available and all that she could offer was to make me comfortable for the time that I have left.”

Carson just proposed to his fiance Brittany back in February of this year. At 5 feet 8 inches and 180 pounds, the 30-year-old former Air Force Academy star was one of the smallest players in Division I college football but made first team All Mountain West Conference and honorable mention All American selection following the 2007 season.

Carson and his wife Brittany. (GoFundMe)

Bird lost his mom to cancer just two years ago.

“Now that I’m experiencing the pain that she was going through, it makes me wonder how she did it even more,” Bird says. “This pain is a different world, a different animal. It doesn’t stop,” Bird told the Gazette back in March.

Former teammates, coaches and friends speak of him with admiration.

“He’s always been a very determined, strong, spiritual, remarkable young man,” coach Troy Calhoun says. “He’s a young man who has always been able to surge and do more physically than what may seem realistic.”

“Please don’t feel sorry for me … please think of me and smile, knowing I am surrounded by loved ones and I am happy,” Bird wrote in his blog.

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  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

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