Saint James football coach Mark Fischer has scored a victory greater than any on the gridiron. Fischer's bone and kidney cancer, (multiple Myeloma) is in full remission, ten months after his diagnosis during the 2012 high school football season.
"They couldn't find any cancer cells to speak of, so the bottom line is that they put me in full remission status," Fischer said of what his doctors told him. "I feel better now than I've felt in years. I have energy and more me, what I used to know is me. They were good words to hear, it was confirmation to me. Not to sound like I'm Superman or anything, I just knew. I had that gut (feeling) that it was all good."
Fischer told his team on after a loss to Carvers Bay at home in September. He continued to coach the majority of the season despite going through a full round of chemotherapy. On February 16th, he went to Duke University's Adult Bone Marrow Center for extensive treatment returning in April. Initially given a one year survival rate, Fischer now enters a lifelong maintenance phase and will continue to take medication.
He is most grateful to not only the Murrells Inlet community, but the entire high school football fraternity. Region opponents wore Fischer's "RTI" Run Through It slogan on helmets and numerous fundraisers were held to help with medical expenses.
"The last thing I want to do is be some kind of media hound on this thing, but it's the only way I can really get it out there and make it known how appreciative we are and how thankful my family is to the Murrells Inlet and Saint James community - friend and foe alike, guys we battled with on Friday night were our biggest supporters."
The Sharks varsity football coach is hopeful that he can return full time to Saint James High on August 1st, just in time for the start of summer training camp. He looks forward to practice more than the games. The Sharks are coming off a 3-7 campaign, winning two region games after Fischer's cancer diagnosis.