PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania’s wrestling team had an extra body at practice on Thursday, with three-year old Cole Davis joining the Quakers for their afternoon practice.
Cole, a Michigan native, has been coming to Philadelphia since 2012 to receive treatment for retinoblastoma – a form of cancer that develops in the retina and is the most common type of eye cancer amongst children.
Cole, who has been receiving his treatments at the Willis Eye Surgery Center and Jefferson Neuro Hospital, comes from a wrestling family. His father, Clint, is a wrestling coach back home in Michigan, and Cole has been joining him in wrestling rooms for most of his young life. During the family’s many visits to Philadelphia during treatment, the Davis Family has visited many of Philadelphia’s landmarks, and Cole’s mother, Leanne, thought it might be time to add a visit to a place of comfort and familiarity during their most recent trip.
After contacting head coach Alex Tirapelle, a surprise visit was planned for father and son to spend time with the team during a workout session. Cole was right at home in the room, bouncing around with assistant coach Pete Friedl and showing off his version of a cradle and getting as many reps in with the chin-up bar as possible.
The visit for Cole and his family with the Penn Wrestling team was part of a successful trip to Philadelphia as it was recently determined that Cole’s tumors – which he has been battling since he was four months old – are cancer-free and with this round of treatment just completed and a fourth and final one in January all that stands between Cole and preventing future reoccurrence.