A blessing in disguise

Coach Nugent discusses his battle with cancer.

Mr.+Nugent+learned+the+importance+of+family+during+his+bout+with+cancer.

(photo provided by Mr. Nugent)

Mr. Nugent learned the importance of family during his bout with cancer.

When we least expect it, life gives us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change, and on December 29, 2013, life gave Mr. Nugent his challenge. Early in the morning, Nugent went to the hospital for a CAT scan about the stomach pain he was having. When the results came back they found a tumor on his kidney, which they considered to be stage two Renal Carcinoma, cancer.

When you are told the news, “you have cancer,” many people cannot believe it and are in shock. Cancer is a serious disease that can change your life completely, and upon hearing those words Coach Nugent began to think about the one thing that matters most, family.

“I thought to myself – will I see my girls grow up, will I be around for their next birthday?”

Many of the things I used to think were insignificant, Coach told me, all that really mattered was my family. He did not go into denial, instead he fought on with the help of others and his faith.

Mr. Nugent's fully grown hair before donating.
(courtesy of Mr. Nugent)
Mr. Nugent’s fully grown hair before donating.

Mr. Nugent went on to say, “I was extremely lucky and blessed, the Elder community and specifically teachers stepped up and took my classes – Mr. Alig and Mr. Tucker were a huge help.”

For a month, Mr. Nugent prepared his body for worst before his surgery to remove the cancer on January 22, 2014. Once he had it, his wife Lorie began to step up in a huge way.

“She stayed home with me after my surgery and really made sure I could rest,” he said.

Having to stay in the hospital for a couple days was the most difficult, Coach Nugent told me, but was not bad in comparison to what others have to go through.

“I was extremely lucky and blessed,” he said.

While he was in the hospital many people always reminded him of how lucky he truly was because with the disease he was fighting, many don’t find out until too late. His mother died of cancer, he told me, and he felt like she was watching out for him.

“I really felt like my mom was poking me in the side to get me to go get checked out,” Mr. Nugent said.

There has to be a guardian angel watching out and God must have a purpose for everyone. In Mr. Nugents’ case, his purpose is to teach young men not only about lacrosse, but the game of life itself.

God is giving me a second chance at life, and I am trying to make the most of it.”

— Coach Nugent

When anyone you are close to is diagnosed with cancer, reality beings to settle it. You being realize that life is short, and you do not get many chances at life.

“Now I am making the most out of every day, and not take each day for granted,” he told me.

Mr. Nugent knows what it is like to have terrible days during his fight with cancer, but he was renewed to redefine goals; he rides on his faith, and believes in his abilities to effect others lives, and he knows fully well that in every dark cloud there is always a silver lining.