If there is one thing you’re going to read on the Internet today, make it the AP’s story from Craig Sager’s hospital room at at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Fighting myeloid leukemia that returned this spring, Sager is undergoing his third bone marrow transplant after a 20-year-old college student was considered a “perfect match”. The quotes captured from his bedside will pull your heartstrings and start rooting incredibly hard for the universally beloved 65-year-old TNT reporter. My favorite part is his line about having a donor nearly 45 years younger than him. The man’s sense of humor is razor sharp:
Sager has been hospitalized for a month and has another monthlong stay ahead. He hasn’t thought a lot about the man whose bone marrow could change everything for him. But when he learned of his age, he expressed a half-serious concern.
“My only thing was I was afraid that when he signed up to be the donor, he may have been in some drunk fraternity house trying to impress his date,” said Sager, with a smile. “And they call him up the next day and say: ‘Want to come down to the hospital?’ and he’s like: ‘What?'”
There are other Craig Sager gems in the article:
“I like to gamble,” he told The Associated Press. “I like to bet on horses, I like to bet on dogs, I like to bet on a lot of things. I’ve bet on a lot of things with a lot higher odds than this.”
“I’ve had every chemo in the alphabet, most of them more than once,” he said. “Some of them that aren’t even in the alphabet, they’re just numbers — clinical trials. But I bet if you added all those up it would have to be like 60- or 70-something. I’ve had 23 bone marrow aspirations. Having one isn’t fun and I’ve had 23. So that’s been tough.”
And, most importantly, his words about not giving up in his fight against the cancer:
Despite the rigors of treatment and how they can ravage his body, he’s never thought about giving up. He gets angry when he meets other patients who say they’ve grown weary of fighting.
“Man, life is too beautiful, too wonderful, there’s just too many things,” he said. “It’s not just you. It’s your family and kids and all. Fight. Fight until the end. Fight as hard as you can.”
“I’ve never had any of those days where I’ve actually said why me, or I can’t do it,” he said. “But I’ll have some dark nights where I’ll be here by myself and maybe getting some medicine that’s making me jump around like a rabbit. And I’m in pain and I’ve got chills and I’ve got fever and I’ve got everything mixed into one and I’m throwing up and have diarrhea … and I’ll just say: ‘Stacy, I need you. I need you.’
“And she’ll come to me and just hold me and it just makes it better,” he said.
Man… That hits right in the feels. Cancer cannot. Get well soon, Craig. We’re all rooting for you.
And if you missed his speech at the ESPYs after receiving the Jimmy V Award, stop everything you’re doing and watch it.