LSU’s Brooks diagnosed with rare brain cancer

LSU safety Greg Brooks Jr., who last month underwent surgery to remove a tumor from his brain, has been diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer.

Brooks, 22, has medulloblastoma, which, according to the Cleveland Clinic, affects between 350-500 people in the U.S. every year and is most commonly found in children. He had successful surgery Sept. 20 to remove the tumor, located between his cerebellum and brainstem, but his speech and ability to communicate have been impacted, according to Dr. Catherine O’Neal of Our Lady of the Lake Health.

O’Neal said there is no evidence Brooks’ cancer has spread.

“Although he is responsive and working daily with physical therapy, he will face months of intensive rehabilitation,” O’Neal said in a statement. “The surgery was successful in removing the tumor, and there is no evidence that the cancer has spread. As he begins rehab in the coming weeks, Greg’s family and care team will determine a treatment plan in collaboration with nationally recognized specialists in this specific form of brain cancer. He has a long journey ahead and will need the full support of our community behind him as he faces this battle.”

Brooks, a team captain, appeared in LSU’s first two games before missing a Sept. 16 contest at Mississippi State for what coach Brian Kelly later called a “medical emergency.” Kelly said last month that Brooks had experienced vertigo earlier this year and again felt dizziness, which prompted an MRI that showed the tumor.

LSU has set up The Greg Brooks Victory Fund, where supporters can contribute to help cover Brooks’ medical expenses.

“Greg has been a daily inspiration to us all,” Brooks’ family said in a statement. “He fights like a Tiger each day and continues to make incremental improvements. We have a long road ahead and are appreciative of the support from our LSU family and Tiger fans. Greg has fans around the world and our phones have been ringing off the hook for the last several weeks with words of encouragement and support. Greg is a warrior! Please continue to keep No. 3, and our entire family, in your prayers.”

Brooks, a native of Harvey, Louisiana, played three seasons at Arkansas and started 31 games for the Razorbacks before transferring to LSU. He started 13 of 14 games for the Tigers in 2022 and recorded 66 tackles, two interceptions, a forced fumble, a sack and five passes defended.

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