Title: Ed Egan, survivor, tackles for the win!
By Darby Musselman
Coventry, Ohio—Whether in life or in football, the daily expectation to devote oneself wholeheartedly, beckons from within Coach Ed Egan. Newly appointed as the 2013 Coventry Comet head football coach, he has taken moments to reflect on his battle with cancer, and how this life changing experience compels him forward to live a legacy, inspiring those in his path to be engaged in positive impacts.
Along life’s journey, Ed became stricken with skin cancer. Since he has had practice at team work, having been a teacher for 15 years and a football coach throughout this time span, he could identify with a team element, for his own personal experiences with cancer awareness, treatments, and survival. “Ed would teach, and kids would see him with a hat every day,” shared his wife, Trudy. Kept from the eyes of those daily interacting with him, Ed’s scalp was tender. Imagine the entire top of your head exposed to a very high level of sensitivity, and as it distracted you, you pressed on to be a devoted teacher to students, a loving husband to a wife, a father to children, a coach to players, a friend to a friend, a neighbor to a neighbor.
The chemotherapy options for skin cancer can be diverse per patient. Ed went through a process to try and decrease the cancer effectiveness, by burning layers of skin off. As most people know, skin breathes, and so this strategy had to be done carefully and with precautions. Ed learned that, “Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward”—C.S. Lewis.
Dignity was a non-negotiable for Ed, as he self-evaluated through the healing process. Hair or no hair, knowing that dealing with survival, meant looking himself in the mirror each day and not forgetting about the man inside. He found strength in the reassurance of his faith, and words of encouragement from his wife, Trudy as she compassionately would remind, “this too, shall pass”, as his skin restoration took place. During these days of therapy, simply being around Ed, students, teachers, neighbors, community members would confirm, that “Ed Egan makes you a better person, just being around him.”
Surviving cancer equated to a victory, and winning, a message meant to continue on. Vince Lombardi, an impressionable figure to say the least for a football coach, has been quoted saying, “Winning is not a sometimes thing, it’s an all time thing,” and been adopted by Ed and the team that he coaches. Easily, this mantra permeated through any traces of doubt or fear which he experienced through medical hurdles, and definitely serves as food for thought for present athletic or educational endeavors.
You may know someone who has cancer, survived cancer, or is facing the news of a cancer diagnosis…seek to be part of the solution and not the problem by being wholehearted in tackling the battle together. Remember, cancer has no boundaries, and is not held at bay by gender, race, or religion. The process can be fierce, but remain steadfast in your pursuit, as each moment served for another is a lasting beneficial one, no matter how small or large the gesture.
Coventry’s community has elected to battle, and have rallied around not only their coach, but purposefully chosen to tackle cancer by giving a voice to the kids, touched by cancer in some capacity by creating a fundraising event.
October 25, 2013, “Tackling Cancer Together” the Comets will get to reach beyond their means by partnering with others to raise financial support and awareness of cancer needs. Find a way to get to their stadium and be part of the festivities Friday night—balloon release recognition, monetary and James Harrison signed pink football raffles, rally towel and jewelry purchase, and much more!
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