Back in the day, when I worked at Worcester’s daily newspaper, my colleague Nick Manzello wrote a column that kept readers updated on local sports celebrities. One of the features of the column was the welcoming back to full health of area athletes past and present who had been under the weather for a time or who had surgery.
That will also be an occasional feature in this space. So it is with great joy in my heart that I welcome back Bill Gibbons Sr. — a longtime staple of Manzello’s “Sports Street” and Worcester — from a harrowing medical issue that has essentially consumed the last 13 months of his life.
Gibbons, 81, was diagnosed last January with colon cancer. The ordeal that ensued tested even his belief in God, he said. And Gibbons, a longtime basketball coach at North and Doherty high schools, is a man of great faith.
“I went to the doctor last year in early January for my annual checkup and he said, ‘Bill, everything looks good. You’re doing great’,” Gibbons recalled. “So, I’m going out the door and he says, as an afterthought, ‘I think you should go in for a colonoscopy.’ ”
Gibbons did as his doctor requested and the colonoscopy revealed two cancerous tumors.
“There were no signs at all,” Gibbons said.
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