Wednesday August 10, 2022

CANTON, Ohio — A devastating injury almost cost Bryant Young his career … and his leg.

The pain the Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle suffered that day was nothing compared to the pain he and his family experienced years later.

Young spoke of his late son Colby during Saturday’s enshrinement ceremony. Colby Young died of pediatric cancer at age 15 in 2016.     

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“Colby loved life and had an infectious smile,” Bryant Young said. “He had many interests, including football. He was a happy kid.”

Colby was starting to have headaches in the fall of 2014. A CAT scan revealed a brain tumor.

Five days later, surgeons removed Colby’s tumor.

“They told us it was cancer,” Young said.

Despite the grim news, Colby was in high spirits when he returned to school a week later. Young said he had the heart of lion.

Bryant Young speaks during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2022 enshrinement ceremony at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

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Colby underwent intense treatments. His family felt encouraged when he started to feel well.

The following fall, Colby said he had another headache. The cancer was back.

“It spread too far too fast,” Young said. “Colby sensed where things were heading and had questions. He didn’t fear death as much as the process of dying. Would it be painful? Would he be remembered?”

Young assured his son he would keep his memory alive. He did it again during his enshrinement speech.

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“Colby … ,” Young said as he choked back tears. “You live on in our hearts. We will always speak your name.”

Reach Mike at [email protected] or on Twitter: @mpopovichREP

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