Former Providence High goalie Noah Hays, who was battling a rare form of cancer, died Sunday. He was 19.
Hays' funeral was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at Elevation Church in Blakeney.
Hays began his cancer battle in 2015, going through 52 weeks of chemotherapy before it went into remission. It came back last year.
Hays had an aggressive form of cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma that develops in bones and soft tissues. According to the American Cancer Society, there are only about 350 new cases diagnosed each year. This type of cancer typically spreads.
The Observer profiled him last March after the cancer had returned and he was about to start his second round of treatments.
“I have my time being nervous,” he said last March, “but I figure, ‘Why be nervous when you can get a plan and get it done?’ But I’m more scared this time. I’ve done everything they’ve asked and now this comes up. But I just have to face it. There’s no good in just letting go. I have to get up and go.”
Hays' fight became an inspiration to his classmates. In August of 2016, as his first round of chemo was ending, the school honored him at a home football game against East Mecklenburg. The Carolina Panthers sent a representative to honor Hays’ “Make A Wish” request and gave him an all-access pass to hang out with the team.
Last year, the Charlotte Hounds pro lacrosse team signed Hays to a one-day contract.
Hays is survived by his parents Gina and Joe Cugliari; sisters, Kayla, Zoe, Caitlyn; and brother, Jeremy.
The family set up a page for friends to leave well wishes.