HOOP THERAPY: Dealing With A Tough Diagnosis

For Rob Drake basketball is his life, “I always tell the kids… unfortunately some people get high on drugs, I always say I get high on basketball,” he said.

On November 16th Rob’s world was turned upside down when his doctor told him he had stage four lung cancer.

A high school health teacher, non-smoker, who works out every day, “it was a major shock, I never expected it,” he explained.  “I expected to live to 80 or 90 because of my lifestyle.”

That same night the Mustangs lost their season opener and after the game, Rob broke the news to the team.

Senior Katie Roseland said, “We were all so shocked, we weren’t expecting anything like that at all.” Senior Paige Miller added, “we all just sat there and cried.”

Rob told the team he’d do his best to get better and be back before the end of the season. But his wife Joann explained, “A diagnosis of stage four lung cancer… it’s not curable.  That’s been the really difficult thing to wrap out heads around.”

First he tried chemotherapy, but his body couldn’t handle the drugs, now he’s taking a new pill that directly attacks the cancer cells.

“I feel good hopefully this pill continues to work,” he said.

His time is limited, but Rob is back doing what he loves.  Coaching helps take Rob’s mind off of cancer, at least for a couple hours every day, but as good as he feels now, he knows the lung cancer will eventually win, hopefully many years from now.

“I have 7 grand kids, I want to see them…I want to be around to see my grand kids graduate, get married, go to college,” Rob said.

“He’s my rock and that’s probably the hardest is not imagining he’s going to be around forever to be there to support me,” Joann added.

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