RUSSELLVILLE, Ky (WBKO) --- Russellville hosted a recent celebration in honor of a most courageous and inspiring student-athlete.
He's a charismatic young man who might be a student but has been a teacher to both his peers and adults.
Dillon Porter has already won even before signing a letter of intent to play baseball next season at Brescia University. The Panthers senior is a cancer survivor who underwent two years of treatment, including chemotherapy, in his fight against Lymphoblastic Lymphoma.
"Getting that news kind of rocks your world," said Dillon Porter. "Which, I mean, it would for anybody. But especially for somebody that's healthy...you wouldn't expect (it) and that kind of threw me off."
Dillon even kept up his top-notch academic work during his cancer ordeal. A 4.0 student, he's also in numerous school groups, including the Russellville High School band.
"If you look at kids now, adversity hits, a lot of them give up," said Russellville Head Baseball Coach Tyler Meacham. "(For Dillon) Adversity in baseball field is nothing now."
Dillon Porter is as polite as they come. And even tougher than most adults and teenagers. After one chemotherapy treatment, Dillon was extremely nauseous but told his parents that he needed to be at the baseball diamond to support his Panther teammates.
"He came in after church camp one time after having chemo and he was throwing up," said Dillon's mother, Polly Porter. "He handed me his bag and said 'OK, I gotta go. I gotta go. They're playing a game and they depend on me."
Dillon Porter said being there was being a good teammate, no matter the extenuating circumstances.
"I think it was a game and I went and sat and I kept the book. And got sick a couple of times throughout the game," said Dillon. "But I stayed and pushed through it."
Brescia University says Dillon Porter's rare toughness played a role in wanting him to play for the Bearcats.
"There's nothing too small, too big...that can faze him at all," said Brescia University Pitching Coach Chad Cox.
"I couldn't have made it through if he hadn't have been as strong as he was," said Dillon's father, Donnie Porter. "He's been fantastic."
"They've all been through it with me. And I know it affected them just about as much as it did me," said Dillon Porter. "And I appreciate that they stayed through it with me."