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Triumphant return for Randle
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She's back.

Brittany Randle suited up for the Ceres High varsity girls soccer team for the first time this season on Thursday in Modesto. The senior defender returned to the field a month after being diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia. Her cancer went into remission.

"I think it's a miracle," said Ceres coach Randy Cerny. "I figured she was lost for the season."

Randle started at sweeper against the Downey Knights. She was just as effective despite her lack of stamina. Randle asked for her first and only breather midway through the first half.

"This is something I was really hoping for," she said.

Randle was granted medical clearance on March 18.

Her parents, head coach and athletic director also approved of the comeback.

"They're excited for me because they know how much it means to me," Randle said.

Said Cerny: "The best thing for Brittany is to get her on the field. We feel we're not going to put her at any physical risk as far as her disease."

Randle began treatment on Feb. 17. She has taken one Gleevec tablet a day since being diagnosed. The medication has brought her white blood cell count down considerably, from 109,000 to 3,500.

"It's a little bit below normal but it's still good," Randle said.

Added Cerny: "I need to find out what company makes that medicine and buy some stock."

So how many games will Randle be able to participate this year?

Randle said she has no idea.

"I'm anemic because of the medication," she said. "That's going to make it harder but I'm still going to play."

Said Cerny: "It's always going to be Brittany's decision."

In April, Randle will visit UC San Francisco Medical Center for a third time for further testing. There's still a possibility Randle might need a bone marrow transplant.

"I have to wait it out and see," she said.

Randle wants to tryout for the Fresno State women's soccer team in the future.

"That's always been her dream, to go on to college and play soccer," Cerny said. "If anyone can go on and still achieve that, it would be somebody like Brittany Randle.

"She's smart enough and has the ability. She can do just about anything she wants to do." - By DALE BUTLER / Staff Reporter of The Ceres (Calif.) Courier