Sports Stars Grit

Sports Starts perservering through cancer

Billy Mayfair-Sequence

In July 2006 golfer Billy Mayfair was diagnosed with testicular cancer, however he didn't let the adversity to stop his golfing career. He said about it, " I went from playing golf and trying to make the Ryder Cup team to wondering whether I would see my son grow up." Three days after his diagnosis Mayfair had a surgery to remove the cancer and to his relief it went well and the cancer was removed completely. Then, only two weeks after his diagnosis with cancer, Mayfair teed off at the 2006 PGA Tour Championship, one of the four golf majors. After the tournament, he underwent chemotherapy so the cancer didn't come back and luckily, it worked confirming he had triumphed in his fight against cancer. Mayfair's story shows grit in many ways. He showed resilience through the setback of cancer to continue playing golf, and the courage to fight cancer strongly in the first place.
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Billy Mayfair

Andres Galarraga- Description

Andres Galarraga is a former baseball player from Carcaras, Venuzuela. He played for 7 teams, including the St.Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers. He was right-handed and is six-foot-three weighing 235 pounds. During his baseball career he faced one of the hardest challenges in life, cancer. While playing in the 1999 All-star game Galarraga felt a soreness in his back that he couldn't seem to get rid off. Nothing could stop the nagging soreness, so he went to a medical oncologist for a MRI. What he learnt there was something he couldn't have dreamed of. He had a tumor on his second lumbar vertebrae, which was a type of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. "Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is an uncommon cancer that develops in the lymphatic system, which is a network of vessels and glands that spread throughout your body." After discovering the tumor, Galarraga began five months of chemotherapy which included five standard chemotherapy treatments where a chemical soup is injected into the veins. During his treatment Galarraga became sick and begin to think he could't manage the sickness, but he didn't yield and kept going. After the chemo ended it was discovered that the tumor had gone, he was cancer-free and he could play baseball again. He came back in the first game of the 2000 season and had a remarkable season, getting a .302 batting average, 28 home runs and 100 RBI. Andres Galarraga showed grit by showing the resilience and the courage to fight through cancer, and the resilience to get back and play baseball again.
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Andres Galarraga batting

Mike Lowell-Problem/Solution

In February 2003, Boston Red Sox's third basemen, was dealt with one of the biggest problems anyone could face, cancer. He had also faced another problem before being diagnosed. At his former team, the New York Yankees, Lowell just wanted a chance. However the Marlins thought he was inadequate to be third basemen, so they signed a veteran. Scott Brosius, who was a former MVP, was signed on a three-year deal and Lowell was traded to the Florida Marlins for a pair of pitchers. His solution was to play well and impress in Florida. However that was stopped abruptly. Three weeks after signing for the Marlins, Lowell was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Lowell said about the diagnosis, "It was definitely a shock as I never felt any pain or discomfort... but the last two months have definitely been a true test of patience because desire-wise I wanted to get back to the field as soon as possible." The solution to the cancer was not giving up, it was a surgery to remove his testicle and three weeks of radiation. This radiation caused more problems as he felt 'knocked out' and at one point he lost 10 pound in three days. His solution was again great, staying strong and not giving up, knowing he could soon be back playing baseball. One month after completing treatment, Lowell returned to training. Since then he has been traded to the Red Sox and won the World Series plus the World Series MVP. Lowell showed grit with his strength and courage to fight cancer and his resilience to get over the stumbling block of being put down by the Yankees.
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Mike Lowell playing for the Florida Marlins

Jonas Gutierrez-Cause and Effect

Jonas Gutierrez is a Spanish soccer player who plays for Newcastle United in England. In 2013 he was diagnosed with testicular cancer and had one of his testicles remove but it relapsed last year. Despite these adversities he triumphed both times and is now back playing soccer. The causes of testicular cancer include age and race, height, descended testicles and other things. The effects include the effects of many other sicknesses, including death and loss of family members, while the treatments can cause sickness and loss of hair. Happily death didn't affect Jonas, but he did become sick and weak during treatment which Jonas talked about, saying " The chemotherapy is a harsh treatment. Your body really feels it. You lose your hair with all the medication going in your body. It was hard." Another effect on him was not being to play the sport that defines his life for two years. However on March 4th 2015 Gutierrez returned against Manchester United in a 1-0 loss. The coach that had seemingly brought them to safety from relegation had left, and an inexperienced assistant brought in for the rest of the season. That caused the team to lose form and confidence, losing nine games in a row and they were then dragged into a relegation battle. On the last game of the season Newcastle just needed a win to avoid relegation. They were 1-0 up but were under pressure and needed a goal to seal it. Up-stands Gutierrez, cancer-survivor to score, and to keep Newcastle in the top division. Jonas Gutierrez showed grit liked many cancer survivors by showing courage and resilience to defeat it. He showed courage by not stopping or giving up and resilience by keeping going despite a stumbling block. He also showed risk in the face of adversity by shooting to score as he knew he could have missed and faced taunting.
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Jonas Guiterrez on his return VS Manchester United

Eric Shanteau- Compare and Contrast

Eric Shanteau is an American Olympic swimmer who holds a world record for being part of the team with the fastest 4 x 100 meters swimming speed. One week before the start of the 2008 Olympic games qualifying, Shanteau was dealt a hammer blow. He had testicular cancer. However this didn't cause him to yield as he competed in qualifying and ended up making it to the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the American team. Then, hardly two months later, he was flying out with the Olympic team to Beijing to compete, even though he still hadn't had any treatment. Sadly though he lost out in the 200-meter breaststroke by 0.13 of a second. When he got back home he had a surgery to remove the cancer and he has been cancer-free ever since. He said getting back in the pool after his surgery was the hardest part, saying, " When I got back from the Olympics and had the surgery and decided to get back into the pool, that was probably the hardest part of the whole process. It freaked me out a little bit. You left it in your body for a couple months-what if it comes back? What if it comes back worse." Despite this, he kept on swimming, and went on to win gold at the 2012 Olympics and to break a world cup. Compare this to Lebron James however. In the 2014 NBA finals game one, James had to be carried off the court because of cramp. It wasn't a major injury or a sudden sickness, it was cramp. This shows the difference between the two. One would want to persevere through any adversity (Shanteau), while the other has to stop playing and be carried off the field because he has cramp and is too tired to carry on (James). Shanteau showed grit by taking risk in the face of adversity, which was his cancer.
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Eric Shanteau


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