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Homer Drew’s family fighting cancer ‘together’


Mike Miller

Retirement’s supposed to be when you kick up your feet, play with your grandkids and enjoy yourself. Maybe get a part-time job or do some volunteer work.

But cope with cancer afflicting you and your spouse? That’s just messed up.

Homer Drew’s family agrees.

News of the former Valparaiso coach and his wife, Janet, both being diagnosed with cancer emerged last month, but neither (rightly) felt the need to expand on that news. The school released a statement, well-wishes were tweeted and blogged and the coach and his wife continued with their cancer treatment.

But for anyone interested in how the Drew family is doing now and how his family reacted to this, I offer Andy Katz’s excellent story on the subject. Here’s an excerpt:

“It really felt like something dropping out of the sky, out of left field,” Dana Shaw said, “and just, it was very hard. Even to this day, it’s still -- for me, it’s still somewhat surreal.’'

Bryce was on the road recruiting, constantly checking his messages to see if there was news on his mother’s test. When he heard cancer again, and this time much worse than his father’s, he said he couldn’t move.

“It’s definitely something that grabs you, you know, from the inside and you kind of get that sick feeling in your stomach,’' Bryce said. “You know, at times, it’s -- sometimes you can feel yourself grasping for air, like sometimes it just hurts to breathe.’'

Meanwhile, Homer was trying to deal with his own diagnosis while hearing about his wife’s. One didn’t come entirely as a shock. The other most certainly did.

“Devastated,’' Homer said. “Devastated is the word. You’re kind of numb. And then, you don’t know how severe it is until we get some follow-up examinations. You’re just devastated, you know, and you go and you hug each other, and just you know, we’ll fight this together. We’ll fight this together.’'

Fight on, coach. Fight on.

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