For the last three decades, KOLR10 viewers have tuned in to see Dan Lucy deliver sports highlights. But last fall, there was a slight change in programming; a prostate cancer diagnosis forced Lucy to change up his play-by-play, both on air and off.
“At first, I was in a state of shock and thought no one cared,” said Lucy, sports director at the CBS affiliate in Springfield, Missouri. “I sat in a fog and started thinking the worst things, but eventually realized this was a chance to educate others.”
Lucy hadn’t planned on getting blood work done when he turned 51. “My wife encouraged me to do it, even though I’d just gotten my physical the year before. Needless to say, we were caught off guard when the doctor said something wasn’t right.”
A biopsy confirmed the cancer and Lucy was quickly booked for surgery, which kept him off his feet – and off the air – for two weeks. “My wife told me, ‘God gave you this for a reason,’ and it got me thinking. Maybe I’m supposed to be an advocate, or someone people can turn to?”
Test results showed Lucy was clear of cancer, but his head was already in another game. “I was back to covering the World Series in Kansas City, but with a renewed view of the world. I’ve been talking to so many people, every day, who ask how I’m doing and they even share their stories with me.”
Lucy shared his story as the featured speaker and emcee at Mercy’s Celebration of Life and Dance on Friday, June 5. Mercy Cancer Center honored those in the community who are living with and beyond cancer. The event took place just two days before the 28th annual National Cancer Survivors Day (NCSD), which was Sunday, June 7.
“Thousands of cancer survivors, caregivers, family members and health care professionals will gather across the globe to honor cancer survivors and to show the world that life after a cancer diagnosis can be fruitful, rewarding and even inspiring,” said Mandy Gray, oncology program coordinator for Mercy Springfield.
“Eventually you start realizing there are people around that are there to help you,” Lucy said. “Many times, they’ve had cancer themselves. There’s this team of people and together we can help other people.”