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LSU safety Greg Brooks Jr. diagnosed with rare form of brain cancer

22-year-old senior diagnosed with medulloblastoma
LSU Tigers safety Greg Brooks Jr. in 2022
Posted at 2:56 PM, Oct 05, 2023

Louisiana State University starting safety Greg Brooks Jr. has been diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer, just weeks after undergoing emergency surgery to remove a tumor, his family and the university shared in a joint statement Wednesday.

The 22-year-old senior was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a type of brain cancer that affects between 350 and 500 people in the U.S. each year. It impacts the cerebellum, a part of the brain responsible for coordinating movement, balance and posture. 

While typically found in children, medulloblastoma can occasionally occur in adults as well. Dr. Catherine O'Neal, chief medical officer at Our Lady of the Lake hospital, said surgery to remove the tumor was successful and there's no evidence the cancer has spread, but Brooks most likely won't be playing in another football game anytime soon. 

"For the last three weeks, Greg has been recovering from an extensive surgery to remove a brain tumor that was located between his cerebellum and brain stem," O'Neal said in a statement. "Greg’s speech and ability to communicate has been impacted, and although he is responsive and working daily with physical therapy, he will face months of intensive rehabilitation." 

Brooks, who grew up near New Orleans and was named a team captain this season, started 13 games for the Tigers last season, intercepting two passes, forcing one fumble, and recording three tackles for losses. He played in the team's first two games this season and recorded three tackles in each. 

LSU head coach Brian Kelly said Brooks has the support of his family and teammates as he battles through this tough time.  

"Our program continues to pray and support Greg in his fight," Kelly said on X. We ask that you help the Brooks family and support the fund as he continues in the journey ahead."  

The Tiger Athletic Association has created The Greg Brooks Victory Fund to help offset the costs related to his treatment and care, including medicine, therapy, travel and more. 

O'Neal said Brooks will begin rehab in the coming weeks, and his family and care staff will consult with "nationally recognized specialists in this specific form of brain cancer" to determine a treatment path forward.