AUSTIN MILLER | CO-SPORTS EDITOR
Former Butler men’s basketball player Andrew Smith is preparing to battle cancer for a second time. The news was made public on Friday morning via a blog post written by his wife, Samantha Smith.
According to the post, Smith’s cancer returned four months ago, with only close family and friends being made aware of the circumstances. This time around the battle will require a bone marrow transplant.
“We’ve taken the last few months to cope with this and what it means for us,” Samantha Smith wrote. “Truth is, we’ve enjoyed normalcy. We’ve enjoyed having conversations with friends and strangers that didn’t center around cancer.”
The former Bulldog center, who was a part of both Butler teams that appeared in national championship games, battled cancer for the first half of 2014 after being diagnosed with non-Hodgskins lymphoma in February of that year. After beating cancer, he suffered a cardiac arrest in July 2014 that left him in a coma for three days.
The bone marrow transplant will carry with it great risk, but has the potential to cure the cancer. Smith already has a donor, and told CBS Sports that he expects to undergo the procedure in late September.
Several people have expressed support for Smith via the blog and social media, including Butler men’s basketball, Xavier University head coach Chris Mack, current player Roosevelt Jones and former players Ronald Nored, Rotnei Clarke, Matt Howard and Erik Fromm, who were teammates of Smith.
The blog noted that there will be tough days ahead for the couple, and asked for continued prayer and support.
“So friends, with a heavy heart from a worried wife, I ask for prayers,” she said. “Prayers of praise and thankfulness, first and foremost, for God has a beautiful plan for all of this. We thought He had finished this chapter of our lives, but He has something else in mind.”
“But who is ready to fearlessly face this thing head on? Andrew, of course. Sure, we both went through sadness and confusion for a while, but Andrew has handled the idea of this next phase like he always does — like a warrior. Cancer really picked the wrong guy to latch onto. We are about to kick its butt to kingdom come. For good.”