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Through Cancer, Loss, High School Basketball Team Helps Coach

By Jay Edwards and Langston Wertz Jr., The Charlotte Observer, 03/01/19, 12:00PM CST

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“Dealing with all of that and still teaching and coaching became my new normal. It felt good, because I felt like (cancer) wasn’t defeating me.”

In May 2017, David Parsons found out he had Stage III colon cancer. Three weeks later, the West Iredell girls basketball coach was in surgery. Doctors had to remove 17 centimeters of his intestine. For Parsons, this was only the beginning of a wild odyssey where he learned to fight the disease, lost his mother -- who had battled cancer twice -- and once got so ill he couldn’t remember coaching entire games.

“I didn’t realize how sick I was,” Parsons said. “There were several games that I watched video of later and never remember even coaching. I would watch myself on tape and wonder why I didn’t do this or didn’t do that. As I watched the tape of those games I remember thinking to myself ‘that guy is not me.’”