By Michael Spencer
DENVER (CBS4) – As Rapids defender Kortne Ford continues to rehab from a sprained MCL, he and his mother are fighting a much different battle away from the field.
In February of 2017 Laurie Ford, who had been in remission since battling breast cancer in 2009, found out that her cancer had metastasized in her bones. The initial diagnosis from her doctors was that Laurie had three to six months to live.
“It was just shocking,” said Kortne when looking back on the initial diagnosis. “We had just lost my Godmother to liver cancer, and literally in the same week she (Laurie) was diagnosed with metastasized bone cancer.”
The Ford’s reached out to the community to help. They launched a GoFundMe page, and together, with the help of the Colorado Rapids, raised more than $22,000 to help with Laurie’s rising medical bills.
“It was incredible,” Kortne said of the support he and his mom received. “I didn’t know it was going to happen the way it did. The fans were incredible. The coaching staff, the community itself, friends, family, even strangers. If it weren’t for them, she probably wouldn’t be here today.”
The treatments for Laurie’s type of cancer cost upwards of $10,000 a month, but thanks to the money raised by the community, she was able to receive both natural and pharmaceutical treatments to keep the cancer at bay. Her cancer levels began to decrease, and the Ford’s thought she was on her way to being a miracle.
“We were like, ‘We can do this,'” Kortne recalled of the outlook he and his mother shared as she continued treatments.
But that attitude was quelled recently when Laurie went in for a routine checkup and saw that her cancer levels had started to rise. She was once again give three to six months to live.
“When she went in for those test results, and was given three to six months and it was a lot more serious, because they told us this would happen. So once again we just have to put our heads down and grind it out.”
And once again, Ford took to social media.
“We didn’t really want to get the Rapids involved again, she feels bad that they’ve already done so much. She felt really guilty about me putting the (GoFundMe) page back out there, but that’s something that I had to do as a son, because I want her to live. I want her to get these treatments that are going to give her a chance.”
Ford, who turned 22 in January, recently purchased a house and plans to have his mom move in with him in. Laurie currently lives in Fort Collins, but has to make the daily two-hour drive to Denver in order to get treatments.
“She has to wake up at 5:40 to exercise,” said Ford when listing his mom’s daily routine. “She has radiation at 7. She teaches middle school math, and school starts at 8:15. They get out around 4:00 and she has natural treatment in south Denver at 6. By the time she gets home it’s 8:30 or 9 and she goes to bed. She has to work in order to afford the medical treatments.”
Between his own rehab, and helping his mother, Ford’s days are also busy and long. His dedication, both to soccer and to his family has not gone unnoticed.
“He conducts himself with so much humility and class,” raved Rapids head coach Anthony Hudson. “Not only has he had a difficult time in his personal life, but he had his injury as well, but all I’ve seen since then is someone who is incredibly determined. He’s a good young man and there’s not too many people who could respond in the way he’s responded.”
Rapids veteran goalkeeper Tim Howard echoes those statements, “You can’t say enough good things about him. It says a ton about the young man that he can handle this.”
While prognosis for Laurie is bleak, the Ford’s have vowed to continue to fight.
“She wants to be this miracle,” said Kortne of his mother. “I need my mom to be this miracle.”