Senior perseveres through obstacles

Football player refuses to let health issues interfere with life goals

Andrew Paredes, Sports Writer

From outward appearances senior Micah Lowe, a 6’2”, 205 pound, defensive end, seems like a healthy, normal football player.  At the end of football season his junior year, he was looking forward to possible athletic scholarships and a chance to take his next step towards his NFL dreams. 

All of that changed in March, when Lowe began experiencing severe stomach aches that prevented him from getting out of the bed. Lowe then found blood running down his leg one day.

Through rigorous testing that took about a month, Lowe waited for answers. Eventually, he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. According to the Chron’s and Colitis Foundation website, the onset of the condition is generally diagnosed in patients between the ages of 15-35 and 55-70.

When Lowe was told this condition was a lifelong health issue, he was unfazed. He said he decided to do whatever it took to get back to full strength. 

“I handled my condition by taking my medication properly, and I decided that it was best to ignore the negative situation in my life,” Lowe said. “If I focused on the negative, it would ruin everything else for me. That is something that I could not afford to do during my senior year.”

According to the Chron’s and Colitis Foundation website, ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammation of the large intestine or colon. It can cause sores or ulcers in the colon which results in pain, fatigue, bleeding and the need to frequently empty the colon.

As part of the healing process, Lowe changed his diet to one that contained no spicy foods. He also takes multiple medications that resulted in a dramatic weight loss.

Lowe had to spend March and April recovering, and in May, he was able to take part in light workouts during Spring Football. He spent the summer working out normally with the team during summer training. Lowe was fully cleared just in time for the first game of the season, where he was able to get one solo tackle and 3 total tackles. 

“I take oral medications that are supposed to prevent me from having any more major issues,” Lowe said. “Losing the 30 pounds really put me behind in terms of my strength and how I am supposed to hold up against strong offensive linemen.”

Lowe prides himself by how he deals with adversity. He said he eventually admitted to himself that this diagnosis was somewhat heartbreaking. 

“Hearing that this disease was lifelong made my heart freeze,” Lowe said. “It hurts knowing deep down that this is something that can change my life forever.”

Lowe had bigger things to worry about. This was the year he was hoping for a college scholarship that could change his life, he said. 

“Going to college has always been a goal of mine,” Lowe said. “It would be my chance to pursue an NFL career. There is no other way I can get into college without a scholarship, which is why this is so important to me.”

Lowe played every game but two this season, he missed the second game and the last regular season game due to flare ups in his illness. In spite of his illness, he was able to get an impressive five sacks throughout the year.

“I am proud of what I did this season,” he said. “I could have done better stats-wise, but I still performed in an impressive manner.”

Lowe said he hasn’t given up on his college scholarship hopes.  He said he plans on working on his body and getting his health in a good place throughout this offseason.

“I plan on getting ready for track season in the spring,” Lowe said. “I am excited to showcase my talent to scouts that are willing to show me some interest.”

Lowe has received some interest from D1 and D2 schools . 

“I know how hard it is to make it into the number one football league in the world,” Lowe said. “This process was never going to be easy, but I have to stick to it and trust it. This has been my dream since I was a little kid, and I am going to give it everything I have until I have nothing left to give.”