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Super Bowl LII: Biggest challenge for Patriots’ Nate Solder is son’s cancer

New England Patriots offensive tackle Nate Solder answers

New England Patriots offensive tackle Nate Solder answers questions during a news conference Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018, in Minneapolis. The Patriots are scheduled to face the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game Sunday, Feb. 4. Credit: AP / Mark Humphrey

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Of course, Patriots offensive tackle Nate Solder is ecstatic to be in position to win his third Super Bowl in the last four years. But that joy is tempered by a far more serious matter that even another championship ring can’t make right.

Solder’s 2-year-old son, Hudson, was diagnosed with cancer in October 2015 and has had a recurrence of the disease that requires further chemotherapy treatments.

“It puts so many things in perspective,” Solder said Tuesday at a news conference in advance of Sunday’s Super Bowl LII. “It’s re-oriented my priorities, with my family being right at the top of those things.”

Hudson was diagnosed with bilateral Wilms tumors, a form of kidney cancer most often found in young children. He had made significant progress and was able to stop chemotherapy treatments in October 2016. But last September, the tumors reappeared, and Hudson had to resume treatments.

Patriots running back James White said everyone on the team knows about Solder’s situation, even if they don’t talk to him or ask him about it directly.

“You don’t necessarily want to bring that type of stuff up to him,” White said.

But the team does support Solder.

“He’s a great person,” White said. “He’s a great father and husband. He works extremely hard on the football field. You can only imagine what’s going through his mind, but he’s still able to play at a high level.”

Solder and his wife, Lexi, have leaned on their faith to help get through the family’s ordeal.

“There were times when we were on our knees, praying, crying,” he said. “And it was just God who carried us through all those things. People have given me credit for being strong, but I don’t feel strong. God’s the one that carries me through it.”

With Tom Rock

New York Sports