Wilson Holloway: Easy to admire his spirit
I never met Wilson Holloway in person.
I admired him from afar.
Holloway is the former Tulsa football player and Oklahoma Christian School athlete who died Wednesday. He battled cancer — the insidious Hodgkin’s lymphoma – for the past three years, and when I say battled, I mean it.
Holloway beat it back not once but twice.
And he did it all with a smile.
I interviewed Holloway back in January of 2009. He had recently won the Football Writers Association of America Courage Award, and I asked him about the fight that he’d endured throughout 2008.
“I started noticing stuff back in probably February,” he said. “I thought it was just me being out of shape, being short of breath, fatigued. We had an early-morning workout, and it was hard, but I was struggling more than what I usually would. My offensive line coach, Coach Hand, he knew something was up. So I went and got it checked out, had a couple tests run, and it showed that there was a mass in my chest.”
He proceeded to matter-of-factly tell me about the hardest months of his life.
“Then after that, we went through a plan of six months of chemotherapy,” he said. “I worked out. I stayed in school. I did the six months … and I finished up Aug. 22.
“I thought I was through, but about a month later, I felt something in my neck. My cancer is swelling of the lymph nodes, Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I was hoping it wasn’t that, and it was just a knot or something. I didn’t say anything for a couple weeks, but then when I got it checked out, they took it out and tested it and it came back positive. Then I started another treatment plan around October.”
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