Landon Green and Braylee Leffew were ready and excited to kick off their high school athletic careers as freshmen this year at Boyle County High School.
But life had other plans.
"I was told I would never play football again," Green said.
Green was diagnosed with bone cancer in February.
"I just broke down," he said. "There were just no words to describe that."
Not long after he started chemo.
In April, he had surgery and his leg was amputated.
He's had a tough year, but that's not what he'd say about it.
"I'm doing very well," Green said. "My coaches and my teammates have supported me all the way through it."
But they haven't been the only ones. His friend Braylee, who he's known since Kindergarten, has been there in a way many others can't.
That's because she, too, had her dreams of playing this year taken away.
"I was at a soccer tournament and sort of tackled the goalie, fell on my back," she said. "That's how it started."
The pain became so severe she eventually got surgery at the UK HealthCare last week to fix what she learned were two stress fractures.
"It just felt like someone was kicking me in the back constantly," Leffew said.
Green was at UK at the same time getting chemo. She surprised him in his room.
"Put a smile on my face," Green recalled. "I wasn't expecting it."
The two athletes, facing life's detours together, are both determined to get back on the field again.
"Oh, I'm not missing it for the world," Green said.
He plans to play football again with a prosthetic leg.
"He's so brave, he has a lot of courage, and he's strong," Leffew said.
Leffew, inspired by Green's strength, plans to play soccer next year. And they'll cheer each other on while they put in the work to make it happen.