Two weeks ago, I wrote about former and longtime Rutgers athletics administrator, Kevin MacConnell, regarding his battle with kidney cancer. His son had started a fundraising page to help his family with the high costs of the surgery and travel expenses. I had heard countless times that MacConnell is an all-timer in Rutgers athletics history and that he is beloved by many for his years of service. He had surgery on August 14th and Rutgers fans stepped up in a big way, both in contributing to the Go Fund Me page that was started, as well as reaching out to him with positive vibes, thoughts, and prayers.
Today brings great news! Kevin reached out to me and is well on his road to recovery. He wanted to write a letter to Rutgers fans as a thank you for all the support that he received. Here is Kevin’s response:
I don't know where to begin to thank all of the hundreds of Rutgers faithful who have sent their thoughts, prayers and good wishes to me since the beginning of August. You have no idea the impact that can have on someone. I was always a very positive person, but additional prayers and thoughts from all of you took it to another level.
I had surgery on August 14th to remove my kidney and my follow up was on Friday, August 25th. I am happy to report that the cancer did not spread and I actually had a form of cancer that usually does not return. My surgeon said it actually had started growing in my kidney for over a decade and was actually larger than my kidney. I am very lucky and count my blessings. Many do not have any symptoms and it is not something that shows up on a blood test or during a regular exam. I had symptoms which my surgeon said was a blessing in disguise.
For those of you who contributed to the Go Fund Me page that my son started, thank you! I saw names of people I had not talked to or seen in years or people that I have never met or know of. Surgery is something you don't save for, so the money raised will help pay for the additional costs that a friend, who went through this two years ago, said are coming. Whatever is left after the bills are paid will be donated to the Jimmy V Fund for Cancer Research.
I had planned to come up for homecoming and will be there. Not sure all of you will recognize me with only one kidney :), but please say hello. I look forward to seeing everyone. Rutgers was my home for 30 years, first as a student and then as member of the athletic department. There is no place like it and I loved every minute of it. It is people like all of you that made it all worth it and your thoughts and prayers have gotten me through this. I actually feel as good as I have in years and can't wait for Friday night!
THANK YOU AGAIN AND GO RU!!
As the 2017-2018 school year and the Rutgers fall sports season begins, Kevin’s story is a great reminder of why we all care so much about our beloved university. Whether Rutgers is your alma mater, a place of work, or a Saturday retreat to congregate with friends and family, it’s the people that truly make it special. Having so many supporters come together in rooting for Kevin, a true loyal son of Rutgers, is just another example of what life is really all about. And there is nothing better than a happy ending! Best wishes to Kevin in the rest of his recovery and I hope Rutgers gives him and all of us plenty to cheer about in the days and years ahead.