What kind of emotions does October, breast cancer awareness month, bring for you?
For Oregon quarterback Tyler Shough, “joy” bubbles from his heart.
His mom, Dana Shough, can’t help but tear up when she hears that. Dana is a mom of four and a stage-four breast cancer survivor. The school teacher was given only nine months to live… That was 13 years ago.
Her doctor wasn’t going to treat her and the family took a memory building vacation to enjoy their time together. However, Dana’s “fighter mentality” couldn’t be quieted, she got a second opinion. The doctor agreed to treat her as a stage-three patient with new trial treatment, that is now regularly used today.
Tyler was six at the time of the diagnosis. Every month, there were times he couldn’t be in the same room as his mom because of her intense radiation that was harmful to children. She’d lock herself away and tell her children,
“Mom is glowing today.”
Oregon’s likely starting quarterback in 2020 has a unique perspective, watching a loved one battle and beat breast cancer, a disease that takes thousands of lives every year. Tyler, the 6-foot-5, 220 pound passer, is similar to his three-sport playing mom, who was voted “most athletic female” at West Albany High School in Oregon. She faced her life-threatening disease like “the largest championship game I’d ever been in.”
Dana won. She’s not done winning. She advocates for further breast cancer research and shares her survivor story with hope that others keep fighting.
“Cancer can’t take your hope,” Dana said. “It can’t take your faith. It can’t take your spirit. It can’t take your love.”
Dana’s victory rubbed off on Tyler in the best ways. When Justin Herbert departs for the NFL in three months, the Oregon football program will be in confident, compassionate, competitive and commanding hands. After all, he got it from his momma.