Students rally around Oklahoma high school coach battling cancer for a second time

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EDMOND, Okla. - These days, Tanner Huddleston spends much of his time in a hospital.

However, this Edmond Santa Fe High School coach was able to spend some time at summer camp helping children.

"It's an escape definitely. I don't have to worry about what's going on inside me. I just have to worry about making sure they stay in line,” Tanner Huddleston said.

Last January, Huddleston was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.

After several months of battling the disease, he went into remission in June.

However, the joy of remission was short-lived.

In April, he received news that no one wants to hear.

"That is not easy to hear. I was up in the press box whenever I got the call that, 'Hey, it's back,” he said.

At only 21-years-old, Huddleston was diagnosed with cancer for the second time. A form of blood cancer common in people over 65.

"I think I was more mad this time as opposed to scared the first time because you don't know what you're facing, but then when you know what's coming, I feel like it's harder to know you're about to go through this again," he said.

"He was like sick during the season. We'd see him in the dugout and, I mean, it just meant a lot more for us, really wanted to win even more for him,” Ryan Knutson, a senior on the baseball team, said.

Huddleston's dedication was reciprocated when his players organized a blood drive in his honor.

Doctors say that Huddleston needs a bone marrow transplant in hopes it will put the cancer in remission for good.

"They had two potential matches set and they picked one and they told me they would be contacting him, and I'm just kind of waiting to figure out what the match says,” Huddleston said.

Now, he's hoping for a home run to beat this awful disease.

Huddleston will throw out the first pitch at the Oklahoma City Dodgers game on Saturday.

There will also be a blood drive at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Participants will receive free Dodgers tickets, zoo tickets, and t-shirts.

There will also be free food and games for the kiddos.

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