Episcopal High School coach diagnosed with cancer while helping young son battle his own illness

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It’s not unusual in sports to hear phrases like “there’s no ‘I’ in team.” We don’t know who originated that quote, but it applies perfectly to what’s going on with the Episcopal High School baseball team. Andy Straub is an assistant coach for the Knights. He’s been busy over the last four years making sure his son, Wesley, is taken care of. As a new born, Wesley was diagnosed with a tethered spine that required surgery. “At the time I couldn’t believe this was happening, but we got through it just like we always do,” Shelly Straub, Andy’s wife said. In October, Wesley had his most recent surgery with Shelly, Andy and the couple’s two sisters making sure he was taken care of. While the family was at his bedside, suddenly his father fell ill. “We were in the hospital with Wesley and I started feeling something,” Andy said. “At that time, I had a hard time sleeping on my right side. It would radiate pain up through my body.” Andy and his wife thought maybe it was a heart attack, but after going to the hospital and undergoing a CAT-scan, they found out they were wrong. “We called (the doctor) and asked him to look over the scans and he said he thought it was lymphoma and he scheduled a biopsy.” Andy said. “That Tuesday, the office called and said ‘will you please come right now?’ I left work, met with the doctor and he said, ‘I would like to admit you today.’ It was pretty serious and scary at the same time.” Andy has gone through four rounds of chemotherapy, all while raising his kids, helping his son learn to walk, and of course, being a coach of the knights. The father of three has gone through four rounds of chemotherapy since then— all while raising his kids, helping his son learn to walk, and of course, being a Knights coach.
All of these life events happening within three to four months— that’s a lot on this family’s plate. That’s when support from their community began to pour in. There have been speeches, Christmas gifts, food and emotional support from a team learning about how life can literally throw you a curve ball. Now Wesley is thriving while Andy is fighting, but you get the feeling this family, and this team, will rally a big win.

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