LAWRENCE, Kan. — The 7-year-old son of a University of Kansas athletic department employee has received an outpouring of support from football players after being diagnosed with cancer.

The Topeka Capital-Journal ( ) reports that Shanda Hayden is an academic and career counselor in the athletic department. She said her son, Cole, was diagnosed in August with a pediatric cancer that begins in the body’s connective tissues.

Almost all of the University of Kansas football players and coaches wore wristbands emblazoned with #TeamCole during the team’s August training camp. Co-defensive coordinator Kenny Perry, along with the team’s defensive backs, have pledged a $100 donation to the Team Cole Fund for every interception this season.

Hayden said her son has grown up around University of Kansas football and its players, who had formed a bond with him even before his cancer diagnosis.

Several players visited Cole and other young patients at a Kansas City hospital this summer. The players gifted Cole with red and chrome KU helmet.

“I had, obviously, a proud mom moment in that regard because they’re like my children,” Shanda said. “They’re my family, so I was very proud with them. They were great with Cole.”

Cole continues to receive treatment for his diagnosis.

Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal,