Vol Nation supports a familiar family from the fringes of UT

Knoxville, Tenn. (WATE) – Whether on the fringes of Neyland Stadium or on the court at the Thompson Boling Arena, expect to see James Boofer and his camera. Boofer began his career in 2008 shooting Tennessee basketball in the NCAA Tournament. Today, 14 years later, his love for photography has not waned.

While James works through the games, somewhere in the stands is his daughter, Susan Boofer.

“Since I was born, he’s taken me to every event in Tennessee,” Susan said. “Once you find something you can bond with your dad like this, you fall in love with it.”

Susan describes Tennessee’s athletic environment as part of her and jokingly says, “maybe even a little too much.”

Like most girls in their mid-twenties, Susan loves taking pictures. One day, while looking at photographs, she noticed that the right side of her face did not look normal. She described her face as having a “droopy” look.

“My first initial reaction was, what’s wrong with me?” says Susan.

After waiting a few hours to see if the problem would resolve, James and Susan headed to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville.

“As soon as I arrived they were wonderful, it was like something out of ‘Grey’s Anatomy,'” Susan said. “The next few minutes were like a whirlwind.”

Doctors rushed Susan through a CT scan within 10 minutes of arriving at the hospital. After waiting for the scan results, the doctors announced good news – there was nothing wrong with Susan’s brain.

“I started jumping thinking ‘great, it’s time to go home,'” Susan said.

Only to receive the news that she was suffering from something completely different from what they expected: Stage 2B Hodgkin lymphoma. Susan describes that was when she collapsed.

During her first round of chemotherapy, Susan and her father were watching the Tennessee basketball game when she heard her name being spoken by SEC play-by-play announcer Tom Hart.

“I never asked Tom Hart to do this for Susan, he asked me if it would be okay to give him a shout out on air,” James said. “I told him absolutely.”

Since Susan was diagnosed, she has felt so much love and support. She explains that people she doesn’t even know have sent her well wishes and gifts, simply because they follow her father on Twitter.

She says this indescribable sense of love is what drives her to fight and what uplifts her every day.

The Boofers want to express their gratitude to their friends, family and especially Vol Nation for the immense love they show Susan during this time. They also want to personally thank Tom Hart and Jimmy Dykes for the selfless on-air shoutout.


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