BELMONT, N.C. — “My liver is terrible basically, my liver is destroyed, it’s got scar tissue.”
May 2020, Staphon Peterson diagnosed with stage 3 cirrhosis of the liver which would require a liver transplant. Just 17 years old at the time Staphon’s outlook on life never wavered
“I trust in God, I’ma be fine, I’ma be straight,” said Peterson.
A rising senior at the time at Cramerton Christian, Peterson was forced to put his blossoming basketball career on hold and not attend some of the exposure camps he planned.
“He couldn’t be everywhere,” said Peterson’s mother Dr. Wendy Douglas. “He couldn’t participate in everything if the environment wasn’t right for him, that was definitely a struggle. We just focused on getting healthy, I said do what you can until you can’t.”
Turns out Peterson’s love for basketball allowed him to do a lot.
” I could’ve just done online school,” said Peterson. “But then I wouldn’t have been able to play. So I was going to school, I was playing ball, just because that’s what I love to do. Even when it was hard and I’d go home after the game, throwing up, having diarrhea, not feeling good the next two days. I was still just preparing myself, trying to get better.”
Peterson doesn’t even know how he made it through the whole season but he averaged a career high 14 points per game to lead the Crusaders while also adding 7 rebounds per game.
He was placed on the liver transplant list earlier this summer and thought he had a match.
“We got to Durham,” recalled Douglas. “We pulled in the parking space and they said, it wasn’t a good liver. Liver came from a COVID patient. That was heartbreaking.”
Peterson rebounded from that setback and attended a workout at Louisburg College the very next day, he credits basketball for helping him get through the tough times.
“If I wasn’t playing I’d be way sicker by now. Playing basketball and training and still going to practice definitely kept me in shape.”
Things are looking up for Staphon, his dad Thurman Peterson is a perfect match and they have a transplant scheduled for this coming Monday. Staphon is nervous, but excited.
“I feel like the sky is the limit because I used to tell myself if I can get through this, then I can push through anything else that comes afterwards.”
To donate to Staphon’s fund click here.