Turning Setbacks Into Triumph


Courtney Tomasetti

Cox takes the ice for his senior night hockey game at Goggin Ice Center.

How different would our lives look if we flourished from our hardships rather than stay down in the dirt? Senior Kyle Cox had every excuse to give up when his life flipped upside down, but he wasn’t going to let his illnesses overcome him.  

Cox’s interest in hockey began as a small child growing up in Pittsburgh after hearing much hype around the Pittsburgh Penguins newest draft, Sidney Crosby. For weeks he begged his parents to let him try it out, and finally, they caved.  

Cox stated, “After my first time on the ice, I fell in love with it. I was on my face more than I was on my feet but I came off and apparently loved it. My mom said I had the most fun in my life so we kept coming back.”

His drive for growth and love for the sport brought him to improve in the rink every second he could. Days turned into years and soon enough the ice became a second home to him. As he got older, the work he committed to putting in began to show. Until one day he noticed a significant drop in his playing.

“My first 10 years of playing I was completely normal… And then all of a sudden a bunch of stuff came up. I got type one diabetes, hypoactive thyroid disorder, and my immune system started attacking a bunch of random organs for no reason,” said Cox. 

After being diagnosed, Cox spent a whole month in the hospital. The game he grew to know and love would be forever changed. 

“I went from being able to score 5 points a game to I couldn’t do anything and that was really frustrating for me. I thought maybe I just wasn’t good anymore and needed to quit. But being around hockey that much, I wouldn’t be able to live without at least going to the rink and trying my best,” stated Cox.

With determination, he brushed off every defeat and set his focus on getting stronger. It wasn’t an easy road to recovery but Cox knew that this wouldn’t be the end of his career. This mindset brought him to where he is today, ranking as one of Miami Jr. Redhawk’s greatest high school varsity players.

“He never fails to come in the locker room hyped and energized– whether it is a practice or a game. He always just wants to be out on the ice working on his skills and working to lead the team by helping all of us be better and keeping each and every one of us motivated when we make mistakes,” said teammate Luke Guggenbiller.

According to Miami University Athletics, Cox holds the record for the most points scored ever in program history along with the most assists. He is the only four-time league MVP, the league’s first team All-Superstar, and received a five-star recruit for a possible career in college hockey. 

Although his performance on the rink is outstanding, life for Cox isn’t always conquest and achievement. He has to face his illnesses head-on every day– fighting to manage the conditions he has, no matter how hard or painful it is.

“A lot of the time it doesn’t seem to affect him as long as he keeps an eye on it and lets us know when he’s struggling… He finds a way to fight through anything and still put the puck in the net. It’s motivating for the team,” said Guggenbiller.

Everyone has their limitations and weaknesses. After all, we are only human. But with that comes an opportunity to persist through those trials and grow. Cox didn’t let his circumstances define who he was but rather used what happened to him to amplify the strength already embedded in his DNA. 

“One of the greatest takeaways I had wasn’t my hockey skill that improved, but my grasp on life and how I could move through every day in a happier manner that I’m more proud of,” stated Cox.

When faced with defeat, run into the fear and uncertainty with confidence that you are capable of overcoming and use it to mold you into the person you truly are and want to be.