13 years of Lou Gehrig’s disease coach’s fighting spirit… A miracle at San Diego State University

2011 NCAA runner-up

Mark Fisher (32 years old at the time) worked as an assistant coach helping his father and head coach Steve Fisher in the men’s basketball team of San Diego State University in the United States for the 4th year. One day he felt his arms and legs creak. He tried to move, but it felt like he couldn’t get enough strength. He thought he would get better, but his symptoms gradually worsened and he went to the hospital. And he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease). It is a rare disease that affects 1 in 100,000 people and has no known cause or cure. His whole body muscles gradually stiffened, leading to death within 5 years at the longest after the onset.

12 years have passed since then. Mark Fisher, 44, is still alive. He is clumsy, but can talk. He also still coaches (part-time) at San Diego State. San Diego State University reached the finals of this year’s NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Men’s Basketball Tournament called ‘March Madness’ on the 4th. It was a surprise that overturned the analysis that experts said that the probability of this team reaching the final was only 1-2%, even if they played generously, only 4%. Although they fell to the University of Connecticut in the finals and ended up in runner-up, it was a struggle worthy of applause. Mark also came out in a wheelchair and contributed to the operation.

San Diego State University is not a strong player in the tradition of college basketball, so it is relatively difficult to select promising high school players. The best result so far is reaching the round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament. The fact that San Diego State University won the runner-up this season is evaluated as close to a miracle. Even more miraculous than that miracle is that Mark is still contributing to the team’s progress.

When he was diagnosed with the disease, he first proposed to his girlfriend Jill. She said, “Before I couldn’t walk, I wanted to walk the ‘Virgin Road ’ with the person I love.” And he quietly carried out his coaching job. In 2013, when he became unable to walk, he changed duties to a video analyst. His whole body hardened with each passing day, but his strong will and cleverness did not온라인카지노.

In 2017, his father, Steve, put down the baton to help his son. “I didn’t quit for his son’s sake,” Steve said. Because helping coach Mark Fisher is more helpful to the team.” Steve accompanies his son to the stadium in the car during home games, and delivers Mark’s opinion over the phone to head coach Dave Velasquez (37) during away games. Velasquez said, “There is something the coach (Brian Dutcher) says every halftime. He said, ‘What did Mark say?’”

In fact, San Diego State University faced strong Creighton University in the quarterfinals of this tournament and was leading 28-33 in the first half. Mark conveyed the opinion that ‘we need to be bolder in the intense defense that presses from the half line’, and coach Dutcher followed it. The result was a dramatic come-from-behind victory of 57-56. After advancing to the quarterfinals for the first time in history, they were able to break through to the quarterfinals.

“Mark didn’t let his illness affect his life,” said Matt Soria, a member of the San Diego State University coaching staff. His will powers the squad,” he said. Player Aguek Erop (24) said, “We know what he is fighting. he never complains He always leads and guides us. It is beautiful to see him like that.”

The ALS Association in the U.S. considers it close to a miracle to be able to communicate verbally while surviving for more than 10 years after onset. Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who passed away in 2018, was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease at the age of 20 and lived for 56 years, but communicated with machines instead of voice. USA Today said, “Fisher will never die. His fighting spirit will be passed down from generation to generation in the basketball team.”

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