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02-14-2013, 10:10 AM
G F O P's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
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When faced with deciding between the two loves of his life, for Ben Pike, it wasn't even close. Football would not win this time.

That's how you know his love is true and strong.

When Pike's fiancee, Ashlee Barrett, learned in April 2012 she was battling leukemia, Pike began to prepare for the end of his football career at the University of Toledo. Barrett, a former Toledo basketball player, already had graduated and was back in her hometown of St. Louis, teaching second grade. Pike wanted to be with her as she navigated the long road of chemotherapy and recovery.

When Barrett, 23, learned Jan. 25 that the leukemia had returned, that the short respite of remission was over, the decision was solidified.

Pike, a Mentor High School product, has one more year of eligibility left at Toledo, one more season he could build upon what had been the best of his career as a defensive lineman in 2012. But the 22-year-old will graduate in May and take his education degree with him to St. Louis. He still plans to marry the love of his life June 15, and will be by Barrett's side each day through a bone marrow transplant and recovery from leukemia.

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