Heartache Helps Soccer Star Find New Purpose

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There are 2,286 students at Wylie High School, but only one MVP.

“National 11 and nationals, youngest captain in school history, high school record for goals,” are a few of the accomplishments senior Wariebi Jituboh listed off.

Jituboh can list every reason why he was named the best player in the school and in the district. “Right, right,” he asked his classmates. “Can I get a little applause?”

Imagine growing up in that shadow. “People know him and they know me around the school as his sister,” freshman Diweni Jituboh said.

Diweni Jituboh is a pretty good soccer player herself. As a freshman, she’s already being recruited to play division one. But something incredible happened not long ago that this brother and sister say they’ll remember forever.

Game winning goals on the same night made both siblings proud. In a home game last month, Wariebi scored this goal to give his team a 1-0 win. At about the same exact time, an hour away, Diweni scored this goal to give her team a 1-0 win, too. 

“It was a pretty epic night,” Wariebi said.

“I felt like finally I was on the same level as him cause he’s older than me,” Diweni added.

Unfortunately, that was the last goal Diweni scored this season. A couple of games later, she injured her knee and thought nothing of it until the pain just wouldn’t go away. She made an appointment at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas just as a precaution. That’s when doctors told her, at just 14, she had a rare form of bone cancer.

“I just started to think this is not what I want. Nobody wants to hear that they have cancer. Immediately I was just scared of dying cause I don’t want to die this young,” she said.

Diweni figured cancer would take her soccer career eventually, so, at first, she was devastated. “If I can’t play soccer what’s the point,” she said. “I just don’t want to do this anymore.”

Her mom convinced her that the end of soccer didn’t have to be the end of the world. She could still find purpose. “Soccer may be gone but you have your life and you can do whatever you want with it,” Gloria Jituboh said.

And what she chose to do was use cancer to inspire others. Now, you can’t wipe the smile off her face. “I don’t see it as a negative thing anymore. I see it as a blessing,” Diweni said.

Diweni says it’s amazing to see how much people care and even though she hopes to play soccer again, cancer has revealed her true calling. “From the day I was born this was set. I was supposed to get diagnosed when I was 14. This was supposed to happen. I just feel like it was supposed to happen. It's not a mistake. Cause now I have a story to tell. I have a testimony to tell. I have so much more to help.”

This might just make her the real MVP.

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