Local athlete overcoming many odds to play favorite sport


by Daniel Gotera / KHOU 11 Sports


Posted on November 10, 2011 at 6:52 PM

HOUSTON – Hockey is not for the faint of heart. Which is why those who play, are completely in love with it just ask 13-year old Carlos Pedraza.

"I really can’t explain it, I just love to play it," says the San Antonio native.

"He came up to me when he was about 4 years old and said, ‘Mom, I want to play ice hockey,’" says his mother Patty. "He started getting good and he had a lot of passion for it, a lot of love and I couldn’t take that away from him."

The sport was his life, but in an instant, it was gone.

"We were going to start the hockey season and then one Saturday he comes up to me and tells me he has a pain," says Patty.

"I couldn’t skate well," says Carlos. "In tryouts it was good and then the first practice came and it was hurting to skate."

A trip to emergency room and several ensuing doctor’s visits revealed the worst.

"That was probably the hardest thing to tell my son, explain to him what a tumor was and where it was."

Carlos was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

"My mom said a tumor and I said where is that from," says Carlos.

"I didn’t see my 13 year old, I saw my two year old with these eyes of desperation," says Patty. "It was like we was saying, mommy make it go away."

His treatments allow him to practice, but play in games, which for Carlos is unbearable.

"It’s the most depressing time of my life," says Carlos. "I’m thinking about whether they (his club team, the Houston Hitmen) are winning or losing or how my team is playing,"

But his teammates make sure he is always with them.

"He is just fighting like nothing is happening to him," says his teammate Hunter Miller.

"In tournaments we always say, let’s win the game for him because we want to make him happy," says another teammate Nash Tyson.

A welcomed feeling for Carlos and his mom

"He always tells me ‘Mom, it will be ok, we’re going to get through this, day by day mom’," says Patty.