Senior David Morin has defended against some of the toughest hockey teams, but none of them could be as tough as the fight for his life he had a few years ago when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
Two weeks before his freshman year began, Morin had stomach pains.
‘When I laid down, you could see a bump on my stomach,? described Morin.
His brother was going to play on Team USA for hockey and his mom wanted to get him checked out before they went. The tests came back and he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
‘Devasted,? said mom, Judy Morin on hearing the news. ‘It was a shock. It’s not happening to us. Someone made a mistake.?
David felt nervous and scared.
‘First thing I said was I didn’t want to die,? said David.
Then, he asked the doctor what his chances of survival were and learned it was a 20 percent chance of survival.
From there, he had four months of chemotherapy, four surgeries, and seven blood transfusions.
His teammates from the hockey team and their parents came out and donated blood. It was the biggest blood banks Red Cross had seen.
The last took place in Nov. 2004 and lasted seven and a half hours.
After all the tests came back, the news came back David was cleared of cancer.
A few months later, the Morins threw a party for the hockey players, parents, neighbors and classmates who had supported them during David’s fight. Attendees included 265 people.
He worked hard to get back onto the ice. From his medication he had gained weight. He joined Weight Watchers, walked a lot with his mom, and got back into the swimming pool.
His hard work paid off, and he lost 70 pounds.
Judy told David he could take a year off from school since he missed playing hockey for a few years. David chose to graduate with his classmates.
Also, he had to have physical therapy because he had blood clots in his legs. The blood clots made it hard to walk, and he had to use a wheelchair.
‘I didn’t really start playing until my sophomore year. When Coach (Krygier) picked me up and took me to get me back in shape to play hockey. I didn’t play a game my sophomore year.?
But he did dress for the last game. His goal was to get on the ice before the seniors graduated because they had been part of his support group while he was going through treatments.
At first getting back on the ice was hard, he could only on the ice 15-30 minutes at a time. As the year went by, he kept getting better.
Getting back into hockey was something his mom didn’t want him to do, but he did it anyway.
‘Because I love the sport that much and wanted to be with the guys that supported me before I graduated and follow up on my brothers because they played, and I wanted to keep going with it.?
Last year, he played in thirteen games.
This year, he was nominated by his teammates to be one of the captains. He has started a majority of the games so far this year. Also, he has continued to be dedicated to his studies and holds his place on the honor roll.
‘It’s amazing,? said Judy seeing her son on the ice after everything he has been through.
Currently, his health is good. The best chance of the cancer coming back was in the first year. As the years go by, the chances decrease.
After graduation, David will attend either Oakland University or Michigan State. Then, he would like to study either pediatrics or oncology at a medical school.
Both are professions he hadn’t wanted to do until after he was diagnosed. ‘All the people who helped me out made me want to help other people.?
David shared the same doctor as Lance Armstrong, Dr. Craig Nichols. He prescribed all of his prescriptions from Indiana and did two of his major surgeries.
David offered his thoughts to anyone fighting any battles
‘Keep fighting through it, because you never know how things will turn out, they might turn out good if you do.?
Each year about 8,000 to 9,000 diagnoses of testicular cancer are just in the United States. In a man’s lifetime, his risk of testicular cancer is roughly 1 in 250. It is most common among males aged 15-40 years. There is hope, out of all of the cancers, testicular cancer has one of the highest cure rates.