WLBT-TV in Jackson, Mississippi is reporting that Nick Bell, Mississippi State defensive end, has died today after a battle with a very aggressive form of skin cancer. He was 20 years old.
His family and friends had been summoned to University of Alabama-Birmingham hospital after his conditioned worsened in the past three days. Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen visited yesterday with several members of the Mississippi State football team, and discussed Bell’s condition publicly at a Mississippi boosters club meeting in Birmingham.
Bell started two games this year before his diagnosis. He played in parts of 12 games in 2009 as a redshirt freshman, and was starting on the Bulldogs defensive line in 2010 before headaches and hand weakness prompted him to visit doctors who found a mass on his brain causing the symptoms, a tumor thought to be related to a lesion removed from Bell’s forehead two years prior. A surgery at Vanderbilt Medical Center in October removed the tumor, but the cancer had metastasized to the rest of his body after the surgery over the course of just one month.
“Nick was a son and a brother to our football family and I know he will continue to look over us from heaven.”
A memorial fund for Bell’s family will reportedly be set up through the Mississippi State Bulldog Club.