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Carson Sumpter, a Pelham teenager who continued participating in his church’s worship band despite painful, terminal bone cancer, died Wednesday at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama.

He was 17.

Sumpter, who learned a year ago that he had bone cancer, played in the marching band at Pelham High School, where he would have been a senior this fall. Despite chemotherapy, the spread of cancer and a tumor in his right leg, he was able to march in the high school band for eight of 10 football games last fall. He played drums and guitar in the praise team at Westwood Baptist Church in Alabaster — and continued playing through last Sunday.

Sumpter also wrote music and recorded many of his original songs. He was a speaker at the Awakening crusade at the Verizon Wireless Music Center in October that featured Evangelist Scott Dawson and radio personality Rick Burgess. He opened for a Taylor Hicks concert at a local Fourth of July celebration.

“I’m a very spiritual person,” he said told the press a few months ago. “You have to keep God as part of your life and pray. You’ve got to trust God through it all. When you don’t have God, that’s truly when you’re alone.”

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