Posted on: October 6, 2009 8:47 am
The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) announced Tuesday that it has created a MILES for MYLES initiative to honor Myles Brand, the former NCAA president who died last month after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
MILES for MYLES is to be conducted on college campuses Nov.7 or Nov. 8.
It's a three-mile run/walk designed to raise awareness and funds for pancreatic cancer research.
"In developing this initiative, we were hopeful that this would be a show of solidarity for Myles as he valiantly fought cancer," said NABC executive director Jim Haney. "We now hope that MILES for MYLES will help raise funds for cancer research, but will also preserve the legacy of a man who was immensely fair, listened to all issues, and was a compassionate leader.”
Posted on: September 16, 2009 6:37 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2009 6:39 pm
That's all he got.
From diagnosis to death, all Myles Brand got was eight months, and the saddest thing is that eight months of life isn't really that short when dealing with pancreatic cancer. It's a relentless disease that claims thousands in this country every year and has taken two notable figures just this week -- first Patrick Swayze and now Brand.
Studies show 95 percent of people die within five years of diagnosis.
Some die within weeks.
There are no known causes.
And really, that's the most terrifying aspect.
Sure, there are risk factors -- like smoking and obesity -- but there seems to be no true cause and effect at work, and conducting a relatively healthy lifestyle guarantees nothing. By most accounts, Brand was as healthy a 66-year-old as you could find before he was diagnosed. He didn't smoke, wasn't obese, there was no drinking problem or anything like that. He took care of himself, but still got pancreatic cancer and the death sentence that comes with it.
There was no real explanation.
No obvious reason.
Myles Brand was, more or less, just unlucky.
And that's the part that seems most unfair on a day like today.
Posted on: January 17, 2009 9:03 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2009 9:59 pm
CLEMSON, S.C. -- Oliver and Vicky Purnell presented a $100,000 check to Coaches vs. Cancer before Saturday's Wake Forest-Clemson game. About 90 minutes later, NCAA president Myles Brand announced he has pancreatic cancer, and though the developments were unrelated it was difficult not to connect the two, because what we had was one man (Purnell) making a donation to an organization designed to help people like the other man (Brand).
Problem is, we're still years away from being able to significantly help people like the other man.
Which is precisely why Purnell made the donation.
"We've had people in our family who have fallen prey to cancer," Purnell said. "Both my grandparents, Vicky's aunt."
Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
Seems like we've all had a grandparent or aunt or brother or friend who has fallen prey to cancer, and though there is sometimes an explanation (if you smoke, you can get lung cancer, and that's easy to understand) other times it makes no sense, which brings me back to Brand, who was by most accounts a relatively healthy man until this diagnosis was made earlier this month.
To be clear, I'm not a doctor.
But I've read enough Patrick Swayze stories to know pancreatic cancer is widely considered to be the worst possible cancer a person can get. It's fast and relentless and terrifying. And that's why Saturday's news was startling, not because a 66-year-old man has cancer, but because a man who has greatly altered the scope of the NCAA has a disease that statistically does not allow its victims to live years (or, in some cases, even weeks) after being diagnosed.
In other words, last month Myles Brand was looking forward to a long rest of his life.
Now, who knows?
So here's hoping Purnell's $100,000 check makes a difference in the fight against cancer, and that one day people like Brand don't have to endure the certain fear that comes with a diagnosis like the one that has shaken the NCAA.