A little more than a year ago, Wolfpack offensive coordinator Dana Bible never imagined he’d be in the running for a football award based on his off-field struggles against a rare disease.
Bible’s life changed in an instant on the night of Nov. 20, 2009, when he received a diagnosis of acute promyeloctyic leukemia. As the rest of the Pack departed for their game against Virginia Tech, Bible was taken to UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, where he began a 30-day regimen of intensive treatment.
Rebuilding a Life
Bible’s new schedule included chemotherapy five days a week for five weeks. He would come to spring practice after a chemotherapy treatment, and although he wasn’t always at his normal, fiery best, his mere presence and determination were an inspiration to the entire team.
Through it all, Bible, also the quarterbacks and wide receivers coach, never gave up his responsibilities.
In June, his two primary oncologists told him that the treatments had resulted in a “complete molecular response,” meaning that his body is free of cancer. Bible has fought to regain the strength and stamina he lost from his months of treatment.
Uplifting Athletes Finalist
Bible has been named one of five finalists for the 2011 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Award. Voting began Feb. 1 for the honor, presented annually to a leader in the world of college football who has made a positive and lasting impact on the rare-disease community.
In total, rare diseases, which range from acute promyeloctyic leukemia to Zellweger Spectrum Disorders, affect more than 30 million Americans.
The winner will be announced at a ceremony later this month. Fans can cast votes on the Uplifting Athletes Web site.