Mickelson Family Serves As Important Reminder


Jul 8, 2009

Mickelson Family Serves As Important Reminder How much heartache can one man take? Six weeks after Phil
announced his wife had breast cancer, his mother was
diagnosed with the disease and is to have surgery later this week.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported on its Web site that Mary
discovered she had breast cancer last week.

She is to have
surgery Friday at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, the same hospital where
Mickelson’s wife, Amy, had surgery last Wednesday.

I reported this story on SportsDesk on Monday evening, and then on
Tuesday morning, Tom Caron and I visited the Dana-Farber Cancer
Institute and the Jimmy Fund Clinic. What we saw was a hospital filled with
patients going through the same trauma and pain that Mickelson and his family
are going through. But I have to say, their positive attitude and strength in
fighting such an aggressive disease is inspiring.

While visiting the clinic, we saw the wonderful doctors and nurses and
volunteers working tirelessly to help each patient individually. But it’s also
incredibly sad because, unfortunately, many of us have been personally affected
by the disease. Too many of us.

Phil Mickelson has not spoken publicly since his runner-up performance at the
U.S. Open, and it’s highly unlikely we’ll see Lefty at the British Open, which
starts July 16. He’s going to be spending time with his wife, and now mother, as
they fight the battles of their lives.

The patients at the Jimmy Fund Clinic have to battle for their lives as well,
and make sacrifices along the way. T.C. and I had the pleasure of meeting a
young man named Matt, a recent graduate of Tufts University. He’s been through
many years of treatment and keeps staying strong.

Matt recently returned from a trip to Costa Rica with his buddies and joked
with me about how much fun they had on the zip line. He told me they didn’t wear
harnesses, and I believed him. Gullible? Perhaps. But Matt has a sense of humor
unlike any other, and you’d never know that, while he was sitting down receiving
chemo in one arm and doing stand-up comic-type acts for T.C. and I, he was
suffering so much pain.

Strength is what gets people like Matt, Mickelson and those in anguish
through each day. One day at a time, the optimistic way of thinking powers them
through the pain.

You see, cancer affects everyone. No one is exempt, not even if a loved one
has already been diagnosed, as with Mickelson’s family.

I encourage everyone to take part in the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon
on Thursday and Friday, Aug. 27 and 28. We’re not asking for much, just
cooperation. Because every penny can help create miracles. The generous support
we receive during the two-day event will go the distance for friends like
Mickelson and Matt.

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