Tuesday, May 02, 2006

On a Serious Note

PWD has a story up on the Georgia Sports Blog about Mark Richt's wife and her battle with cervical cancer, something that touches very close to home with me.

When I was 16 my mother lost an 8 year off and on battle with breast cancer and passed away at the far too early age of 40. She was young, fit, intelligent and in the prime of her life (only a couple of years older than my wife is now) when she was first informed that little lump was the last 6 letters you ever want to hear: c-a-n-c-e-r. Unlike many other diseases, cancer is an indescriminate killer who cares not if you are young or old, fit or lazy, useful to society or a leach. There is nothing you do to "deserve" it, and unfortunately very little you can do to avoid it either. It picked my mother, it picked Kathryn Richt and it can pick your friend or family member just as easily.

For one Saturday a year I strongly dislike Coach Richt, and I hope he loses miserably each matchup. Outside of that he seems like one of the best young coaches in college football and has a terrific future ahead of him. His wife seems to be genuinely nice and together they are something of an "ideal" couple. Thankfully it apears that she will make a full recovery and will be able to live a normal life despite the scare of the original diagnosis. Coach Richt has said this episode has given him motivation to be more active in promoting cancer awareness, a worthy goal and one which cannot be stressed enough.

Get yearly checkups (both men and women) and pay attention to any abnormalities. The hastle of having your doctor give you a clean bill of health once a year beats the alternative of finding out too late that you have what would have been a treatable problem. Nobody is above the reach of this disease unfortunately, but hopefully a higher degree of awareness will help more people be in Kathryn Richt's position where it is only a scare and not something far more serious.


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