Higley HS JV football player 'starting to feel a little bit better' following two brain surgeries

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Marcus Edwards is making remarkable progress after having two brain surgeries. (Source: Amber Ledbetter) Marcus Edwards is making remarkable progress after having two brain surgeries. (Source: Amber Ledbetter)

A 15-year-old Higley High School football player is making remarkable progress after enduring two brain surgeries to remove a vascular tumor.

Marcus Edwards' mom sent a 30-second video of him talking from his hospital bed. He waves to the camera and says he's "starting to feel a little bit better" and that "my goal at the end of this week is to walk." 

That’s according to the Gilbert teen’s mom, Amber Ledbetter, who has constantly been by his side.

On Wednesday, Jan. 24, more than 120 friends, family and teammates gathered in the lobby of Cardon Children’s Medical Center in Mesa to pray for Marcus before he went into his first surgery scheduled for Friday, Jan. 26.

[ORIGINAL STORY: Gilbert high school football player diagnosed with brain tumor]

Ledbetter said surgeons at Cardon were not able to remove the tumor, so he was transferred to the Barrow Neurological Institute.

He had his second surgery at Barrow Thursday, Feb. 1, where surgeons were successfully able to remove the whole tumor which was growing in his brain stem. 

Right now, Ledbetter is waiting for the tests to come back to find out what kind of tumor it is.

"The doctors told me he’s going to make a full recovery," said Ledbetter. "When he went into the hospital, they said he was a walking miracle."

However, it'll take time for Marcus to get back to normal.

Right now, he's relearning how to walk and talk.

On Tuesday, the Higley High School football booster club sold $10 t-shirts to help raise money for his family. So far, they’ve raised $2,500 and have 200 more shirts to sell. 

Right now, they’re selling them on campus but if the public wants to support too, email parentsuknight@gmail.com

“Marcus Strong” is written on the shirts with the hashtag #ME13. M and E are Marcus Edwards’ initials and 13 is his football jersey number. 

"Anything to help them out from gas money, eating food at the hospital, anything like that, any medical bills that come up, anything to help them out," said Dawn Brasch, one of the Higley High School football booster moms.

Her son, Spencer, has been visiting Marcus almost every day in the hospital.

"He’s going to fight through it," said Brasch.

Eddy Zubey, Marcus’ coach, recently visited him. Instead of motivating him from the field, he’s coaching him from the side of his hospital bed.

"I just told him to close his eyes and then told him to rest up and that we’re all here for you. Stay strong and I can’t wait to get you on the football field," said Zubey.

"We’re here to help each other anytime that we can, so it’s a great thing to be in the community and be a part of it," he added.

Ledbetter said she's overwhelmed by the community's kindness and wants them to know it's appreciated. Her biggest fear was that Marcus would become a paraplegic.

"I just want to tell everybody thank you. The power of prayer is amazing," she exclaimed.

A GoFundMe account has recently been set up to help Ledbetter with expenses.

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