Bill Battle, Alabama Athletics Director, goes on leave for cancer treatment. Battle will be absent from job for a few weeks while he receives treatment for multiple myelomas.
On Tuesday, the 74-year-old director announced his health condition is not life-threatening, but he needs some time to undergo stem cell transplant as part of the numerous treatments he has received since he started fighting cancer almost two years ago.
“In the spring of 2014, I was diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer. Subsequent to that diagnosis my wife, Mary, and I visited with doctors at The University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical Center; University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas; the Lewis and Faye Manderson Cancer Center at DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa; and the Winship Cancer Institute to determine the best treatment options,” said Battle in a statement.
Moreover, Hinton affirmed the coach is in great shape, and it is expected that the stem cell transplant will provide equal results as those got during radiation and chemotherapy treatments.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 22, 2016
After the stem cell replacement, Battle could continue his regular lifestyle, Hinton said.
Multiple myelomas is a very rare form of cancer. This type of cancer develops in a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell. The human body needs antibodies to fight infections and any other harmful external agents. Those so required antibodies are developed by plasma cells.
The battle has multiple myeloma phases 1, which causes cancer cells to accumulate in the bone marrow, invading healthy blood cells and avoiding the production of helpful antibodies. Even if the illness does not represent a high risk for Battle’s health, he will be absent for at least two weeks for a stem cell replacement at the Winship Cancer Center at Emory University.
Regarding the diagnosis and the several treatments Battle has undergone for about two years, the Alabama athletics director says he is very comfortable with the diagnosis and very confident, at the same time, with the planned treatment his teams of doctors has designed. Also, he says he will be doing whatever is needed to regain his healthy condition and his active lifestyle, of course, he is planning on continuing a the head of the Athletics Department.
Further, Battle’s cancer fight has taught him that the illness, as hard as it is, might be attacked and someone could get positive results if it is faced with the right attitude and detected on time.
Multiple myelomas are more common in people over 65 than younger folks. Many surveys claim that bone narrow plasma cells type of cancer has been diagnosed in about 30,000 patients every year.
Battle won’t stop working
Although Battle has said he need some weeks to get the stem cells transplant, he will stay in communication with senior officials to keep leading his department.
“That doesn’t mean I will stop working. I will be in touch by e-mail every day. I will be in direct contact with our senior administrators on a daily basis, and I expect to be back in the office later this summer,” said Battle. “My doctors say that I will be able to keep working for years, for as long as I want to.”
Thus, even if health is first, Battle decided not to take a full leave of absence while going through his cancer treatments. The director enjoys a pretty good physical condition, one point in favor while struggling multiple myelomas is that he is quite active about decisions he has made to fight the illness.
Battle in Alabama Athletics Department
Battle’s vision and work have positively influenced Alabama’s performance and success in some many ways. He has faultlessly maintained Alabama’s success in fields, but he has also implemented several programs to construct new facilities, as well as previous efforts to get involved students, fans, faculty members and players on everything linked to Alabama Athletics.
One of the primary missions of the football team has always been the recruitment and development of student-athletes to play at the highest levels in intercollegiate athletics and a professional career. This mission has been critical to battle which has tried to accomplish the football’ mission since he took the lead.