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May 2, 2006

Update on Kathryn Richt

I wasn't going to post on this because I think it's a private matter between the Richt family, and I think rumor mongering about the health of players is bad...and family members of players and coaches is even worse.

However, Coach Richt has now addressed Kathryn's health publicly. And in an effort to help end the rumors, I want to make sure folks see the Savannah Morning News Article on the topic. (Password required but cut and pasted below).

Note to guys. I never cut and paste articles, but this one is unique. If you've got a beef with it, email me and I'll take it down. My email is my my profile.
Richt has more on mind than football
Savannah Morning News
By: Tim Guidera

For Georgia fans, there is rarely anything more important than hearing what their football coach has to say about their favorite team.

There are whole nights devoted to the practice, as there was Monday when the Savannah Bulldog Club met at the Marriott and Mark Richt was the marquee speaker. It was the first of 12 stops on Richt's springtime tour of UGA clubs during which he usually finds himself answering the same questions about who the new starters will be.

And he was ready for the one Monday about the Dogs' No. 1 quarterback for the first game of next season.

"Well, we've got it narrowed down to four now,'' Richt said in a tone that suggested he might have rehearsed the answer just a little.

This time around, though, he will have more on his mind than what he is telling boosters about the results of spring practice and the outlook for the fall.

Recently, Richt's wife, Kathryn, was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She underwent a hysterectomy last Wednesday and only within the last few days has been told to expect a full recovery. The pathology report indicated that the cancer had been diagnosed early, had not spread and that Kathryn Richt will be fully healthy once she recovers from her surgery.

World's best water girl

That came as a tremendous relief. But it also came after a month for the Richts that the coach described as going from everything being normal to having a checkup to suspicion of some tissue to suspecting cancer to having cancer to having an operation to hearing everything was all right.

"We're so blessed,'' said Richt. "So many people deal with cancer and it takes weeks and months and years. I'm just thankful for everyone who has been praying for her and her doctors and I know how fortunate we are.

"But I want everyone to know they need to get their checkups.''

That's the message Richt has taken away from his wife's scare. It's also the one he says he'll take forward, being more active in raising cancer awareness.

He hadn't spoken much about the situation before Monday. He mentioned it in a talk he gave at a church in Marietta last week and Bobby Bowden discussed it with Florida State media earlier this week.

Mark and Kathryn

But now Richt plans to become an advocate of the annual physicals that might have saved his wife's life.

Not that he ever retreated from the subject before.

Like anybody in his position, he gets letters from sick kids and is asked to sign merchandise for patients and goes on hospital visits. Also, having lost two grandparents to cancer, he has been touched by the disease before.

Just never the way he was during a trying month that seems to have worked out fine while also creating a new form of work for Richt.

"I haven't been hiding it,'' Richt said before his speech Monday. "Anybody I told about it was someone that I knew had faith and believed in prayer and would pray for her and her doctors. I wanted people to pray.

"I've always been willing to talk about it and try to help. But it takes on a little different meaning now.''

Richt's role could take on more significance as well as he adds Sometime Spokesman to a list of titles that already includes Head Coach, Play-Caller and A-List Speaker.

Maybe it's not too much to think that it will encourage people to have themselves checked out when he tells them that Kathryn had no symptoms or pain and her condition was only caught because she had an annual physical.

After all, when Georgia's football coach talks, people listen.

Very cool news that Coach Richt will be helping raise Cancer awareness. Prayers and thoughts go out to the entire Richt Family.


PS: The Georgia Sports Blog will now return to its regularly scheduled obnoxious commentary about Georgia Tech and other useless topics.

Hat tip to for the link.


Worrier said...

Best wishes to the Richt family. All the news appears good but I'm sure the episode can be challenging for all involved. Probably something that never quite leaves your mind even when told "your clean". This Vol fan hopes all is fine for Mrs. Richt.

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