Mississippi State's football team has lost one of their players yesterday, as redshirted sophomore Nick Bell passed away a day after undergoing emergency surgery in Birminham, reports the Clarion Ledger.
Upon having a tumor removed from his brain on October 1st, Bell was diagnosed with a form of skin cancer. After discovering that the disease had spread, Bell was scheduled to begin chemotherapy this week, but after falling ill Sunday, underwent surgery Monday. He fell into a coma and didn't recover.
The news is shocking to the family, friends and teammates of Bell, as he was suiting up and playing for the Bulldogs as a starter just six weeks ago.
Family friend Moreland Smith called the cancer "brutal and aggressive," as evidenced by how quickly it spread through Bell's body.
Bell was taken for medical care when he began to suffer severe headaches while watching an NFL game with Smith in Birmingham. The headaches got worse and Bell began to feel a burning sensation in his arm, which led to a scan revealing another mass on Bell's brain.
MSU Coach Dan Mullen informed his players of the news during a team meeting Tuesday afternoon, and scheduled a team dinner at his house for that night.
"I know he's looking down at us right now and I'm sure he's already been picked on a team up in heaven to play football, a game that he loved," an emotional Mullen told reporters.
Things had seemed to be improving for Bell weeks ago, when he attended the Bulldogs home game on October 23, and could be seen walking up and down the sidelines wearing his jersey and interacting with teammates.
"We've tried to keep the team together as much as possible, and they have coaches and other family members to deal with what's gone on," Mullen told ESPN. "Everybody deals with it differently, and it will take all different time periods for our guys to deal with it. There's no right or wrong way to feel or act right now."
A memorial service on the campus is planned for Thursday night, while his funeral will be held in Birmingham Saturday.
Bell's death is the second tragedy surrounding NCAA football in the past two weeks following the death of Notre Dame videographer Declan Sullivan.
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