Community uses football to honor a child who passed away from cancer

CLEAR WATER (WQOW) More than 100 children between the third and the twelfth grade tied their football boots, put on their receiver gloves and took to the Regis High School football field on Thursday for a special purpose.

Normally football is a two-team sport, but on Thursday everyone was on the same team – Ashton Adam’s team.

“It means a lot that people took the time to do something like this. We know how precious time is,” said Martin Adams, Ashton’s father and head coach of Ashton’s Angels Football Camp.

Last year, Ashton, the son of Martin and Robin Adams, was taken to Marshfield Children’s Hospital with a brain tumor and was diagnosed with atypical teratoid rhabdoid (ATRT), a rare form of brain and spinal cord cancer.

“All of his doctor’s appointments were great, and he was ahead of schedule. He was about to walk, he was about to start talking, and then suddenly I came home from a night shift at work, and then my wife told me she had taken [Ashton] to the hospital, and the doctor told us he had a tumor. He had a mass in his brain,” Adams said.

For the next 127 days, Ashton had a relative by his side every hour of the day.

Ashton passed away in April 2020. He was 1 year old.

“It’s been a nightmare ever since,” said Martin Adams. “No matter what, Ashton has always fought hard, even when he had to undergo chemotherapy as a baby. He was very playful, always happy and loved his sisters, Mom and Dad. He was just a sweet, playful little boy.”

To honor his son, Martin Adams, a former Chippewa Valley football coach, hosted Ashton’s Angels Football Camp.

“Being able to hear and say his name, and remember him, it just means a lot to me. It puts a smile on my face to hear his name, and to know he’s still here with us.” is, and still is remembered by people in the area,” said Randi Strangstalien, Ashton’s aunt.

Ashton’s legacy extends far beyond the Regis football field, as each camper was given a blue and gold T-shirt with the camp’s logo on the front. Gold symbolizes cancer, and blue is the color Martin Adams associated with Ashton.

Adams said he hopes Ashton’s Angels Football Camp becomes an annual event. All proceeds will go to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Marshfield.

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