Liberty High football player Zach Hunzinger shares his story of cancer … and beating it

Arizona in Focus is a podcast from Cronkite News, the news division of Arizona PBS. Each season we dive deep into a particular topic or story to bring you stories you haven’t heard elsewhere. Check out the rest of our episodes here, and subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Soundcloud.


Zach Hunzinger, a senior at Liberty High School in Peoria and captain of the football team, was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, after doctors found a softball-sized mass in his knee. After multiple rounds of chemotherapy and surgery, he is now cancer free and ready to return to a normal life.

He recently went back to school and was greeted by large crowd of students, teachers and media. With the help of football coach Mark Smith, Hunzinger revisits the roller coaster ride the last year has been.

Hunzinger hopes his story can help others diagnosed with cancer. With his experience now in the rearview mirror, he is looking to move forward with his life and rehab his knee so that one day he might be able to return to the football field. He also hopes to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a police officer. This is his story.

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