An active 18-year-old, Levi Lambert knew he shouldn't be having chest pains and shortness of breath.

An active 18-year-old, Levi Lambert knew he shouldn't be having chest pains and shortness of breath.

The senior for the Hilliard Davidson High School boys lacrosse team experienced those same symptoms once before during his freshman year, but it was determined that he was suffering from anxiety attacks.

The diagnosis was a bit different this time.

"They told me that I had Hodgkin's lymphoma, but I had no idea what it was," said Lambert, who was diagnosed Jan. 28 with Stage 2A Hodgkin's lymphoma. "I knew it wasn't good when I saw the look on my mom's face. I found out later that it was cancer."

Hodgkin's lymphoma, also called Hodgkin's disease, is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system.

The diagnosis meant chemotherapy, radiation therapy and no lacrosse Lambert's senior year. But his extended family in the Davidson lacrosse programs has worked to help him during his time of need.

"When you see someone that close to you with cancer, it can be devastating," senior midfielder Matt Dietrich said. "It's something that always seems so far away, but it puts everything in perspective."

This season, the Wildcats are wearing warm-up T-shirts with "Levi Strong. No One Fights Alone." printed on them. The team's helmets also have a logo with a purple ribbon with an "L" on each side of the ribbon representing Lambert's initials. Purple is the color designated for Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The Davidson girls team also has shown its support by ordering purple rubber wristbands with "#LeviStrong" on them.

"We were there for (the girls team) and they are here for us," said boys coach Kyle Olson, referring to his team's support of the girls program after coach Chad Smock's 19-year-old daughter Marissa died last May from complications of asthma. "They brought the wristbands to us and told us they wanted (the boys players) to be the first to have them before they distributed them around the community."

Lambert began chemotherapy Feb. 8 and was scheduled to have a check-up Thursday, April 14, to see if he will need more chemotherapy in addition to radiation therapy.

"(The doctors) said the mass wasn't bulky, so that's good," Lambert said. "A bulky mass is 10 centimeters, but mine was 9.6, so I will likely have radiation treatments because they don't want to undertreat it since it was so close to being bulky."

Lambert's twin, Dylan, a senior defender for the Wildcats, couldn't believe the news.

"We have had some cancer in our family, but I guess (this) isn't hereditary," Dylan said. "That's non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. You always think (cancer is) something that can never happen to you or anyone that you know. It was pretty devastating."

For senior attacker Scott Brooks, it marked his first experience with a friend or relative having cancer.

"It was indescribable when we heard about it," Brooks said. "We have all played together since the seventh grade. Knowing what Levi has to put up with, that pushes us and makes us work harder."

Despite the diagnosis and his treatment, Lambert was on the sideline for Davidson's first six games. The Wildcats were 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the OCC-Buckeye Division before playing Worthington Kilbourne on April 13.

Davidson defeated Thomas Worthington 13-12 in double overtime March 30 to snap an 18-game losing streak in league play. Its previous OCC-Buckeye win came against Dublin Scioto, 16-6 on April 11, 2013.

"When we beat Thomas, no one was jumping higher than Levi," Olson said. "He was going crazy.

"Levi feels good a lot of the time, so you have to keep an eye on him. If you don't, he'll be out there on the field shooting (the ball) and running around, and he shouldn't be doing that."

Senior midfielder Zack Nolty said Levi has been an inspiration for the Wildcats.

"Levi is always positive and he never complains," Nolty said. "He's still a big part of (the team) and he's great to be around."

Lambert, who has a 3.5 GPA and wants to major in accounting at the University of Cincinnati, is looking to the future.

"I'm not able to play lacrosse my senior year. I'm not playing with my teammates that I have been with since the seventh grade," he said. "... Anything can happen. You have to appreciate what you have because you never know what might happen."