Four-time cancer survivor Casey O’Brien plays for Minnesota

Posted: October 21, 2019 at 6:30 am

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — It was a moment Casey O’Brien dreamed about, but thought would never occur.

The Minnesota walk-on, a four-time cancer survivor, made his first collegiate appearance Saturday in the Golden Gophers’ 42-7 victory over Rutgers. O’Brien was the holder on three successful PAT’s for No. 20 Minnesota (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten).

He was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer, when he was a freshman in high school. With Saturday’s outcome well in hand, Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck called O’Brien’s No. 14 to hold for the point after for the Golden Gophers’ fourth extra point of the game.
O’Brien had nine months of chemotherapy and reconstructive knee surgery that lasted more than eight hours after his freshman year of high school. He convinced his doctors to convert from quarterback to placeholder.