BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Bishop Timon junior is on his way to the CHSAA New York State Intersectional Championship this weekend, but the track and field athlete has jumped over lots of health hurdles to get there.

In October, Ethan O’Hara received a shocking diagnosis: aplastic anemia.

“He was a completely healthy kid, and then just out of nowhere he started feeling really fatigued, so we got bloodwork done and that’s how we found out,” said Yasminda O’Hara, Ethan’s mom. “It’s a very rare disorder, where your bone marrow stops making your red blood cells, so you’re susceptible to bleeding a lot because you don’t have platelets.”

The three-sport athlete was forced to get a bone marrow transplant.

“My brother was the 100% match,” Ethan O’Hara said.

Ethan was in the hospital for a month, and when he got out it was an uphill battle. But, his doctor OK’d him for outdoor track this spring. He’s been the captain of that team since his freshman year.

“We didn’t even know if he was going to compete this year at all,” Timon head coach Rich Tonge said.

His coaches worked with him on and off the track. And recently, Ethan did something no one would’ve guessed, back in the fall.

“I was just working, trying to get better – and somehow I made it to States,” O’Hara said.

He qualified in the triple jump event and 110-meter hurdles.

“He’s a leader,” Tonge said. “These guys look up to him. He’s a calming influence on the guys, just everything you want a leader to be, this kid is going to go far.”

O’Hara said he’s not where he wants to be quite yet. Although he made States, he has even more to prove. But it’s a comeback everyone around him is cheering about.

“I just hope that I can continue to do it and be the best that I can,” he said.

Kelsey Anderson is an award-winning anchor who came back home to Buffalo in 2018. See more of her work here and follow her on Twitter.